Thursday 19th September

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.
Fantastic graphics.
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.

Wednesday 18th September

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 showdown talk.
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.
Bother it!
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.


Tuesday 17th September

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.P1080728

Azzan got busy and set the table and put out grapefruit and cereal.
He made us all drinks and then poached eggs on toast.P1080731 P1080736
Finally it was time to say goodbye as Grant & Van had to hit the road and catch the Picton ferry this afternoon.P1080738
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.P1080745
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!!P1080752
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.P1080753 P1080763

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.

Monday 16th September

Seb came and picked up Anson & Nick around 7am and they went out to do some mussel work.
They brought back some samples for a prospective buyer.P1080725

It was good to wake in my own bed.
Called up Vodafone faults and told them our phone was dead.
They were on to it straight away and I soon had a call from Rob at Chorus saying he was on his way down.

Had a day of doing home stuff.
Got several loads of washing through.
Sat and talked with Grant & Van for a while.
Enjoyed fresh croissants for breakfast with them.
Finally managed to go shower just before midday.

Bri and Abby went out fishing.
Then they came back and prepared a meal for Marah & Anson.

Grant drove my vehicle up to  the airstrip with Van & Azzan.
(I borrowed some photos from Grant’s camera so we could be a fly on the wall)
He went along as tour guide.
IMAG3460 IMAG3461
Testing the wind strength.IMAG3478
A spot of nature during the walk – a wee gecko.
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They walked up to the top of Crichton’s Hill where Tim’s parents ashes are inside a cairn, and then down to visit Tim & Cypress. IMAG3492
This photos is so precious.
Azzan spending time with his Dad.IMAG3497 IMAG3511 IMAG3515 IMAG3545 IMAG3564
Juggling sticks go everywhere!IMAG3568
They enjoyed their walk and came home in time to enjoy some freshly caught and fried fish.
Grant took this photo of Tim’s workshop – it is too neat and tidy now and is missing someone 😦

Cat & Leeann tied the Vision to the wharf and spent the day water blasting the bottom of it.
The tide wasn’t moving far nor fast so they only were able to do half of it.

Mahalia went to ride Olly.
Shoshannah went out walking and she and Marah & Eden joined Mahalia for the ride.
They all had a lovely afternoon.

I was quite weary and needed a sleep, but the house was empty and I was expecting Rob to come about the phones so I sat in my art room in the sun for a while and  then I lay on the sofa with my book.
He came and said that a tree had grown around the phone line and strangled it so he dealt to that and then went up the top and did some other maintenance to ensure all was working well.
I went and lay on the floor in my art room in the sun and read and dozed until the sun left.

Anson & Nick had gone to Waterfall Bay to cut up Seb’s venison and then brought some meat over for me to cook over the next few days.
Anson put some mutton in the oven for me and got it roasting for dinner.
Once everyone began coming in I got up and started preparing dinner.
Cut up a pumpkin and popped it in the oven with the meat.
Then made a cheesy corn & tomato dish and mashed potatoes.
Abby made a large chocolate and berry self saucing pudding and another smaller one for Anson & Marah.
Bri, Mahalia & Abby took the pudding, pasta and candles around tot he Croft and set up a romantic candle light dinner for Anson & Marah.
As soon as Marah had finished feeding Eden they whisked her away and brought her around to visit us.
They used all sorts of tricks to get her to sleep.
Like playing the guitar and piano, lighting candles, and then finally I suggested they turn on the vacuum cleaner in the bedroom – that worked 🙂
I actually think Bri made the dinner just as an excuse to borrow the baby 😉P1080727
They took it in turns to hold her while they ate their dinners.
The pudding was absolutely delicious – several helpings were in order as it was sooooo more-ish 🙂

They finally took her back home.
Dinner was cleaned up and then we all headed off to bed.
I got sidetracked in the study for a wee while doing some online banking.
Needed to pay one account and then ended up catching up on a whole heap more.
Finally got to bed around 11pm.
I was so tired that I only read for a wee while.
I drifted off to sleep thinking about TIm’s birthday tomorrow.
Feeling sad that he’s not here to celebrate it with us.

Sunday 15th September

I woke at 4:30am.
It is such a pain to not be able to sleep in 😦
I sat in bed and caught up my blog and then just before 6am I very quietly shut the doors and had a quick shower.
Didn’t want to wake Azzan, he is needing as much sleep as he can get right now.
I crept outside just before 6:30am and met Sunni & Mat who were all packed and ready to go.
I drove them to the airport and said goodbye for just a few weeks until I go up for the baby’s arrival – can’t wait 🙂
Azzan was still out to it when I returned so I sat on my bed and carried on with the wedding blogs.
He woke looking and feeing so much better.
I really feel for the wee man, he is growing up fast, almost too fast, but that is unavoidable when he is living with older siblings and adults most of the time.
It is very hard to live up to all their expectations of how and who he should be and how he should behave.
Actually it is really hard for me having so many others telling or implying that I should be doing this or that with him too :-/
He is such an out-there individual, so creative and entertaining, but with such an intensity of character and emotions that it is hard to keep up with him at times.
He is also dealing with some heavy issues and trying to come to grips with so many things right now.
He has times where he feels he is just an appendage, unloved and unwanted amongst the busyness of us all.
He is coming to grips with losing his Dad at such a young age, he has talked to me about how unfair it is that he hasn’t known his Dad for as long as the older kids have.
It is hard enough growing up without all the extra things chucked into the mix that he is having to process.

I decided that there was no reason to hurry with the packing and left him to wake and shower in his own time.
It was mid-morning before I touched base with the girls.
They had slept long and well.
So while they cleaned up the house I took the Regulus over to their backdoor and began packing everything in properly.
We finally had everything done and were ready to leave before midday.
Said our goodbyes to John & Sally, who were looking distinctly like they both needed to have a very quiet day!
It was a good weekend but very busy so hope you both did get to rest up a bit.

We drove to Ashton’s to pick up & drop off some things.
They were all just surfacing too.
Azzan & Jessica were having an interesting conversation which just needed to be captured.
Love this photo 🙂
We then drove into town and spent a coupe of hours at Hangar 58.
We had brunch/lunch.
Azzan spent the time not eating doing stuff on the computer.
It is so good of them to supply toys for the kids 😉
Molly & Shoshannah were getting along famously.
Just like I knew they would!
Grant & Van came for a cuppa before heading to Port Ligar.
Azzan was delighted when Grant asked if he would like to travel with them.
We were too 😉
So they took him for a quick visit to the library and then they left town at 4pm.
We took Molly back to the motel to wait for Sasha & David to pick her up and then we zipped back to get groceries for Marah.
I was so not in the mood to shop so we whizzed through the supermarket and grabbed the items she wanted, laughing so much as we got to the checkout.
This would have to be the smallest shop I have ever done in my while life!!IMG_3805
We fueled up the Regulus and grabbed a frappuccino for me and were out of town by 4:20pm.
It was nice to have just Shoshannah in the car with me.
We chatted the whole way home.
We caught up to Grant & Van and their tour guide about 40minutes from home and passed them.
We stopped at Tim’s cairn to to show them as they would not have seen it in the dark.
Just before we got there I mentioned to Shoshannah that I should’ve brought some of the wedding flowers home to put their for Tim.
And then we arrived and found Brianna had already done that.
We were thrilled to see the two large proteas there.
Thanks Bri xxx
Van added some more flowers so it is looking lovely right now.
Shoshannah said to me that she feels closer to Tim here than where he is actually buried.
I’m the same.
This is where his spirit left his body.
Sometimes I stop here and I cry and other times I just talk to him and then other times I can be less sad.

Onwards and homewards we carried on.
Shoshannah whizzed the groceries up to Marah and then we went straight home.
Unpacked the vehicle while Azzan directed Grant & Van to the wrong sleeping quarters!!
So Grant moved their gear and then we had dinner.
Abby had made a delicious chicken dish but didn’t know my paprika was really hot/strong and so the sauce was almost too hot to eat.
But it was still pretty darn tasty mixed weigh the mashed spuds 🙂
After everyone had gone to bed I had a quick spa.
It was so lovely to soak my weary bones in the heat.
Finally fell into bed sometime just before midnight.
So glad to get home to my own bed.

Saturday 14th September

We woke to a glorious Nelson day.
Perfect for a bbq brunch.
No one was particularly fussed about moving to far too fast but we managed to get rides sorted and rock up to Farifield House by around 10am.
Alan was already there with his bbq set up.
I had nothing organized.
Just loads of leftovers packed away in the kitchen and fridges.
Ella was there already with the children so she immediately got stuck in and organized everything.
Others came and pitched in too which was great as I wasn’t functioning on all cylinders.
It was so lovely out the front that we brought tables out and set the food out on the verandah.
Nathan set up the punch out there too.P1080698
Left the hot drinks set up inside though – found Doug & Sara enjoying a coffee and a chat.
There were leftovers for Africa so we were all well fed.
P1080708 P1080709
It has been so lovely to have Tim’s cousin Van & Grant here.
They have come over from the UK for a 3 months – so cool it coincided with a special day 😉P1080711
Joy had sent out a box of proteas from her garden.
This is what the girls created using them and native foliage from home.
Aren’t they lovely?P1080712

Evan, his South African school friend Doug who now lives in NZ, Cormac, form Aust who worked with Evan in the UK years ago, and Jesika.
Jesika with Jan, Talbot & Josh – 3 people who played a hug part in her life over the years.
What a spectacular venue.
We could not have asked for better.
My panorama app has slightly curved the building!
The view from the verandah is directly down Trafalgar Street, towards the cathedralP1080719
And through the cathedral spire to the sea.P1080720
I was not doing terribly well.
I had managed to hold it all together on the day.
But today was crash day and I was fighting tears and my head was in a bewildered spinning state so I wasn’t much use to anyone really.
I ended up in a corner with Philipa & Louisa having a good cry.
It was good to have the safety net & hugs of two special and very supportive friends.
Was able to get up and face the world afterwards – with the help of my sunglasses 😉

People came and went for several hours.
It was lovely to relax and just spend time together.

Anson took Marah, Eden & Mahalia home.
Bri & Nick took Abby, Cat & Leeann back to Port Ligar.
The rest of us stayed another right in town.
I took Bernie to the YHA and then Dropped Shoshannah, Molly & Katherine back at the motel to unpack perishables and then go o the beach for the rest of the arvo.
I zipped back and got Sunni, Mat & Azzan.
Sunni was wanting gelato so we went down the street and they went to Penguino’s and I went to Starbucks for a Salted Caramel Frappuccino – you surely have started something Hannah!!

By around 4pm everything was expertly cleaned & packed up – Pat & Phillipa, David & Sasha and Rachel just did so much.
You all deserve a DB 🙂

So many people helped to make this wedding a success.
A huge big thank you to the following folk for their help.
Amanda for organising all the catering.
The kitchen & wait staff – Jessica, Ellie, Johanna, Lydia, Katarina, Angela, plus all the others who helped with food preparation.
Kerry & Isaac for providing all the seafood – clams, mussels, crayfish.
Anson & Sebastian for providing all the meats – mutton, beef, pork & venison.
Phillipa & Pat for just about everything – what you two have done has been amazing – thank you so much xxx
Phillipa also made all the cakes.
Pat made the wonderful koru cake stand.
Rachel for overseeing the decorations and working so closely with Jesika to create the amazing ambience for the night.
David & Sasha for everything you’ve done – I can’t keep track cuz you’ve both been everywhere doing whatever is needed!
Phoebe & Molly – for your assistance in the setting up of the venue
Nick & Bri for the movies and all the electrical things.
John & Sally for accommodating us all and making us all feel so at home and comfortable.
John for all the driving – I believe you had a lot of fun driving the wedding party around for the photo sessions 🙂

There are probably heaps more but I can’t think right now.
Just want to say thank you to everyone for making the days so special.

We came back to the motel and rested for an hour.
Christine walked round to hang out with me for a wee while.
I had made a booking for a large crowd of us at Smugglers so at 6:30pm I squeezed Sunni, Mat, Molly, Azzan & Shoshannah into the Regulus and drove there to meet up with Christine & Les.
Then Seb, Phoebe, Lizzie, Paul & Oscar, Nicky & John arrived to join us.
Azzan all of a sudden crashed and began behaving really badly.
He didn’t want any of the food on the menu, he was hungry but couldn’t eat that stuff!, nothing was right, he wanted to go back to the motel, I couldn’t say or do anything to placate him.
So eventually I got so fed up that I took him back to the unit and told him to go to bed.
Of course then he decided he was going to be good and wanted to come back with me.
I refused and left him to go to bed.
I could see exactly what was happening – he had bounced back far too quickly from the chicken pox and had completely worn himself out, and was so over tired he didn’t know what to do with himself.
John went over and calmed him down after I had gone.
I was so close to losing it myself, just tired and also needing Tim so much.
It was hard to go back but my meal was ordered and served already, plus I was really hungry so I tucked in and enjoyed the rest of the evening.
Lemon Posset dessert all round – it is such a winner!!
Especially with heaps of extra cream, eh Sunni? 😉
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We came back to the motel in time to see the end of the rugby match.
South Africa vs New Zealand.
All Blacks won – 29-15
A good end to the day – eh Evan 😉
Aren’t you glad you married the winning side today??

Friday 13th September – part 4

Amanda and her staff in the kitchen had been busy since late Wednesday night preparing a wondrous feast for us all.
So while the photos were being taken the guests went down to the house and socialized over drinks and platters of food.
After the speeches more delicious platters were brought out to the main table.
I didn’t get to see it all until later when a lot of it had already been devoured.

We were all summoned into the ballroom.
Pat was MC for the evening.
To begin with the lights were dimmed and we were shown a wonderful slide show complete with music in celebration of Shoshannah’s 16th birthday.
It was great – lots of fun photos and messages from her friends that Bri had compiled over the past couple of months.
Then Bri and all the girls sang a parody written especially for her.
This is the cake she was presented with.
Isn’t it amazing?

Then it was my turn.
It was a hard speech to give – but I managed to get through it without breaking down.

We are delighted to be celebrating Jesika & Evan’s special day and thrilled you are all here to share it with us.

 I was thinking recently that our lives have been like an ever increasing jigsaw. When Tim & I were married nearly 35 years ago we were two very different puzzle pieces learning how to fit together.  As time went on more puzzle pieces were added and we moved and jiggled and worked out how to fit us all in. We all had different patterns & colours, straight sides, curved edges and those notchy things that have to fit into the matching indent on an opposite piece. By working together we have built a really colourful picture over the years.

 This year the jigsaw has been pushed and pulled around and at times it feels like it has almost been wrecked. First we lost one little piece and then we lost our integral component which has left a huge gap in the middle of the picture. That gap will always be there, it cannot not, and will not, ever be filled by another puzzle piece. The colour is not as intense and vibrant as before, but our memories are adding softer muted tones.
Since then we have added a very cute wee puzzle piece of pink, and in the next few months two more wee pieces will be added. The colour of those pieces are yet to be determined.

And now we are adding an international puzzle piece  – welcome to our family jigsaw Evan 😉 

Today has been a mix of very raw and fragile emotions for our family. Jesika asked me if I could make a speech on behalf of her Dad. But instead I want to make this speech in his honour. 

 Many people have been asking me why the wedding is being held on Friday 13th. Well, apart from the very important fact that today is Shoshannah’s 16th birthday and Mathieu’s 33rd birthday, today is actually not Jesika & Evan’s wedding day. It is their first anniversary.  Jesika & Evan were married in a small private family ceremony at the top of the hill at Port Ligar on Thursday 13th September 2012. 

The reasons for bringing the wedding forward a year were for personal reasons,  Jesika has always wanted to be married at home, and now looking back, we can see God had a hand in all of this. A year ago today Tim had the pleasure of walking his daughter down the aisle. An aisle bordered by ferns and llamas, fenceposts and a spectacular view.

 Today Jesika has brought both of her dreams to fruition  – to be married at home and to have a big white wedding.
Brianna has combined video footage & photos taken so you can now all share in their first wedding day, up on that hill top where Tim & Cypress now rest.

We then watched a 9minute movie Bri had put together using footage Seb had videos on the day along with photos 4 of us had taken.
It was a beautiful moment.
There was tears and quiet gasps and as the reality of the fact that Tim had indeed walked his daughter down the aisle a year ago hit the the guests.
We had kept it very quiet and announced it as their engagement.
So here are some photos I could not publish until now of Jesika & Evan’s wedding at home a year ago.

The two bridesmaids – Shoshannah (on her 15th b’day) and Sasha.
IMG_2416 copy
Mahalia played her harp as Tim walked Jesika down the hillside.
IMG_2418 copy
Tim with me as I read the exert from Correlli’s Manolin.IMG_2434 copy
Tim reading scripture and Rossi officiatingIMG_2448 copy
And this is why Jesika had a wee moment when signing her vows today – she had the copy of the original certificate that Tim had witnessed a year ago, seeing his signature was quite emotional for her, and for me when I saw her reaction :-/P1010860 copy Mr & Mrs Evan Bester 🙂P1010868 copy The wedding party.P1180563 copy P1180565 copy
It was a very joyous occasion.
A beautiful day and now a very poignant one.
We were not to know then that only 5 months later we would be burying not only Tim but wee Cypress in this same spot.

Louisa followed my speech with a lovely tribute and then Cormac gave a very contained best man speech!
Sasha however let a few more pieces of past history slip which caused some laughter.
Tim’s bro, Martin however brought the house down with his speech.
It was a very cleverly told story and most were duped until the very end!!

These are the wonderful cheese cakes that Phillipa made – all different flavors.
Set on a koru cake stand with protea decorating them.
A blend of two cultures.
The Koru represents peace, tranquility, personal growth, positive change and awakening. It is associated with new life and harmony.
The protea, South Africa’s native flower.
Jesika & Evan had their first dance.
Evan had not danced before meeting Jesika – he did extremely well.
Danced like a pro.
Although Jesika said later it was her job as the more advanced dancer to make him look good 😉P1080671 Cormac got me up on the floor.
The music was great.
I am so glad I took the advice of a friend to go with this Roger from Audio Entertainment.
He did a great job.
He had us all rocking most of the night.
P1080682 P1080683
Azzan appeared to have recovered and spent the night absolutely buzzing.
He was the life and soul of the dance floor.
It was hilarious watching his moves.

Loved these fire place displays.
Rowena  had made a special drawing for Jesika & Tim for their wedding present.
But first she presented Jesika with a copy of some writings she had given Rowena 26-27 years ago.
Very cute 🙂P1080688 P1080689 P1080691 P1080692

We carried on celebrating until near midnight when the place had to be vacated.
I was so tired that I was falling asleep on my feet!
Bri had already taken Mahalia, Marah & Eden back to the motel.
Finally loaded Shoshannah, Azzan, & Bernie into my vehicle at 11:40pm and trundled back to our units and fell into bed.
Jesika, Evan & Cormac left at midnight and came straight back.
But Anson, Molly, Nick and Evan’s 2 Australian mates carried on partying in the city and didn’t return until around 3am!

Friday 13th September – part 3

Then it was time for family photos.
This is my crew from youngest to eldest.
Love them all so much.
And I really love this photo.
It shows they obviously all are peas from the same pod but also portrays their strong individualism.
Azzan, Mahalia, Shoshannah, Nathan, Sebastian, Brianna, Anson, Catriona, Sunniva & Jesika.
P1120256 P1120246
The extending whanau!
P1120251 P1080647 P1080650 P1080651 P1080655
Seb & SunniP1080657
Jesika with Lizzie – the designer of the gorgeous gown.
Molly & Jesika.

Friday 13th September – part 2

Ross took some great photos so I have borrowed some to intersperse with mine as I was a tad caught up in the celebrations.
This photos is taken from the tower of Fairfield House looking across to the Meadow where the ceremony was held.

Sebastian had brought out some rope to mark out an aisle.
A few chairs were placed at the front for the the pregnant ladies and older guests.
The rest of the guests stood on either side of the ropes.
The day had been really lovely but as the afternoon wore on it got cooler and overcast – but no rain thankfully 🙂P1120278

My niece Sam flew over from Western Australia.
It was so lovely to see her again.
She was sporting some amazingly cool stockings – don’t you just love them??

The wedding party had arrived but waited below for the guests to come to order!!
Then a fashionably 15 minutes late the girls began walking the aisle, from youngest to eldest.P1080624 P1080625P1080627P1080628And then Anson appeared – without the bride!P1120188
He raced up the aisle, through the wedding party and up the hill behind.P1080626And escorted Jesika down the path – she had gotten out of the car around the corner and had walked around the hillside above us & made a surprise entrance.
Only 1 or 2 of us knew of her plan so Evan was a tad concerned when she didn’t walk in with Anson to begin with 😉P1080629Scrunch hug – eldest daughter & eldest son, these two have always been close siblings.P1120197
Cormac was the best man and did an excellent job looking out for the ladies.
Must have been great fun for him to be be the sole guy amongst the 5 bridesmaids 🙂P1080634
Paul, Jesika’s godfather officiated the ceremony.P1080636

When Tim died there were many references to him as being like a tall and stedfast tree.
It felt really symbolic to me to have this tall stately tree standing behind Jesika throughout the ceremony.P1080642

Azzan read a poem he had written.

Jesika, one of the best

has now worn her white dress.

In her house you never famish

and always learn a bit of Spanish.

Pancakes with whipped cream on top

and a language lesson to finish it off.

She’s now gonna get a ring on her finger,

and online dating she will not linger.

Jesika, you’re getting married

But really Sis, you did tarry.

 (Written by Azzan especially for Jeselberries)P1120205
And then I read my version of an exert from Louis de Bernières, Corelli’s Mandolin
“Love is a temporary madness.
It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides.
And when it subsides you have to make a decision.
You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part.
Because this is what love is.
Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion.
That is just being “in love” which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
Your father and I had it,
we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.”P1120208
Paul spoke throughout the ceremony of commitment and love based in Christ.
He did an excellent job, it was a special time and very emotional with Tim’s physical absence from the day.

The marriage vows were signed.
Jesika had a moment – I knew as soon as I saw her face what had happened.
All will be revealed in part 4!P1120219 I love, love, love this photo of my two youngest daughters.
Such a special photo – Ross you really captured them beautifully.P1120222

And you may now kiss the bride, and again, and again!!P1080643
Ross prayed for them as a couple and then Graham brought a word from the Word.P1080645

Such an elegant descent Mr & Mrs Bester 🙂

Friday 13th September – part 1

Friday morning dawned bright and fair.
I was greeted by Jesika exuberantly proclaiming that ‘It’s my wedding day!’
She and Sasha had been down to the beach at dawn and had stripped off to their birthday suits and ran naked in joyous abandon & excitement.
They left the skinny dipping as the water was too cold!
They headed off into the city centre to have their hair done beginning at 7:30am.
Hitomi wanted to get an early start to ensure she had plenty of time to get all the girls hair done.
I decided I should try my shoes and at least break them in a bit so I popped over to see Sally.
She had to capture the glamorous moment!

Then it was back for a shower.
Marah asked if I would like to shower Eden so we had  fun washing together 🙂IMG_3785
I had an appointment at the bank at 10:30am so Sunni & Mat hopped in with me and we zipped into the city.
I whizzed through that appointment as quick as I could and then we went off to Hangar 58 for a quick brunch.
Then it was back to see the girls getting ready.
They had just arrived back from having their hair done by Hitomi & Sarah at Renaissance Hair, and make up at Nelson Beauty Therapy and were all looking gorgeously stunning 🙂

Shoshannah & Catriona

Sushi & Shanni hamming it up!P1080561
The centre of Jesika’s headpiece was the broach that her Nana Pip (Tim’s mother) left for her to have on her 21st birthday.P1080564
Marrying two cultures – proteas and ferns.
Jesika was absolutely ecstatic when she saw the flowers.
Far better than she had ever imagined.
This is her bouquet.P1080567The shoe line upP1080569The dress!
Jess & Paul had arrived and were busy capturing the moment, along with their daughter Emily.P1080574

It is amazing how much attention a small person creates 🙂P1080579Just popped over to show all the aunties my wedding shoes 🙂P1080580

I helped Jesika put on her dress.
It is stunning.
Lizzie has once again excelled herself!
P1080583 P1080586 P1080588 P1080589
Jesika doing her I’ve-actually-got-some-boobs move after Lizzie did some magic taping 😉P1080591
The gorgeous Lizzie resplendent in her No2 pregnancy attaching the veil.P1080598
And outside Evan was waiting in the MG – lent for the day by Sally’s son Tim.
Thanks so much Tim – we really appreciate your generosity and extreme trust in letting your baby be driven by another!!

I had to go get ready to leave as I was expected at the hairdressers at 12:45pm.
Azzan was getting dressed already even though he wasn’t coming in till 3:30pm with Sunni & Mat.
But he needed help with tieing his tie, so I sent him off to his new bro-in-law who got him sorted.
I am quite capable of doing the job but felt it was a man’s job to teach a young man the tricks of the trade 😉P1080603 P1080604

I was able to wait to see my gorgeous daughter make her appearance with her Matron-of-Honour Sasha assisting her.
Jess & Paul capturing the first meeting 🙂P1080608

John took the bridal party off to do the wedding photos for the next 4 hours.
I loaded Bernie into the Regulus and we went into the city again.
I realised as I was coming around Rocks Road that I had left all the important papers (marriage license, visitors book, vows etc!!)  back at the motel so I called up Sally and asked her to gather them up and also to print off my speech as I had also forgotten to do that in the busyness of the morning – duh!
She managed to accomplish all with a tad of help from karl when Azzan managed to crash my computer – darling boy :-/
Then everything was given to Sunni & Mat to bring into me.
They then gave it all to Anson & Marah as they were coming in sooner.

Bernie went off to do stuff while I went to see Hitomi.
I sat and dozed while she worked her magic.
I just let her do what she wants because whatever she does is always good great!
Final results 🙂
Then I had time to pick up a frappuccino before heading over to see the ladies at Nelson Beauty.
I had plenty of time to sit and relax and chat with Bedelia while she painted my nails.
Then Julie did my makeup for me.
Nothing like a bit of paint to transform a lady 😉

Anson dropped Marah off and Bedelia did her makeup too.
Discovered that they had forgotten to bring in the papers so Anson whizzed back to get them.
He picked up Marah and headed off to meet the wedding party.
Bernie arrived back from her wanderings and she & the mother-of-the-bride were all ready for the wedding 🙂
We drove up to Fairfield House only to find Marah had not yet arrived.
Eventually, after some consternation discovered she had gotten into some difficulty with the truck.
Poor girl had stalled it at the tricky island/roundabout system near the cathedral and with Eden crying in the back seat had gotten flustered and couldn’t get it started again.
She walked back to get Anson and eventually they arrived.
Whew! All was good.
With 13 minutes till the bridal party was due to arrive we went up to get things in the right places with Paul.
And Marah was able to smile again 🙂
My beautiful girls looking so lovely.