Sunday 30th March

It was really good to be able to lie in bed and not rush to get up until nearly midday.
We were invited to have lunch with my cousins so we scooted through showers and were out the door around 11:45am.
Spent a lovely few hours with my cousin Bev & Jonny.
Hadn’t seen them in a a few years so good to catch up with them and hear all the family news.
They were just celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary – pretty cool eh?
I haven’t been to Invercargill since 1998 when I flew down with Brianna, who was just a few months old, to spend time with my Aunty Margaret who died soon after.
Two of their g’kids Tane & Ryshae, visited while we were there.
Nice to meet them and their parents, Gavin & Selina, when they came to collect them.
We left soon after 2pm.
Mahalia took this of me and Bev – can’t tell we are related eh?  😉
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I left feeling a bit emotional so it was good to head off to the Southland Museum and find the Tuatara House to take my mind off things.
The Tuatara breeding programme there is very successful and it was fantastic to be able to see them up close.
So far they have bread about 110 babies.
Many of which have been sent to zoos around New Zealand.
They are naturally living on islands near us but the access is very restricted so we cannot see them easily at all.
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Tuatara once inhabited all of NZ but now they are only found on 30 off shore islands – .1% of their original distribution.
They are nocturnal but they bask in the sun to raise their body temperature to aid their digestion of the food they consume at night.
They eat anything – if it moves and will fit in their mouth they eat it.
They are very territorial and each has their own burrow.
In the wild a female lays eggs every 4 years.
These take 12 months to hatch.
Artificial incubation has increased hatching time to 5-6 months.
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The sit extremely still.
The children were taking great pleasure in spotting any movement, a blink of an eye or a shake of a head.
All very fast.
They sit like statues.
Henry is 111 years old and is still actively reproducing.
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The kids are watching the wee baby tuatara sunbathing on the piece of wood.
So cute 🙂
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After we had ouf fill of them we passed though the auditorium and watched a local kappa haka group performing.
They were young lads around Azzan’s age.
Obviously having a good time 🙂
Then we went upstairs and found Burt Munroe’s ‘Indian’
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Also had a wander through their other exhibitions, all of which were extremely well presented and very informative.
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Azzan kept going off ahead or hiding so I have far more photos of Mahalia.
But she caught up with him on the ship wreck.
It was moving and groaning and creaking and dark.
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The albatross exhibits were very well laid out.
Mahalia doing a albatross pose.
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Two species of Kiwi.
On left the ‘Apteryx oweni’ and on right the ‘Apteryx australis’.
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Outside the main door were these three impressively immense anchors from sailing ships wrecked off the southern coast in 1881 and 1913.
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We walked past these lovely straight lines of trees on our way back to the car.
Mahalia did the measurement test to determine the age, but as we were taught this for native trees I am not sure if the same rule applies to introduced trees.
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We drove down to Starbucks.
I got a drink  while Mahalia went cruising the clothes shops and Azzan the book shop.
I had just sat down to drink my frappaccino when they both arrived.
Mahalia found clothes she liked but reckoned everyone was staring at her so she walked out :-/
By the time we went back the shops were shut so they will have to wait for another day.
I drove the kids back to the motel.
They had had enough visiting for one day and I had had enough of taking them visiting.
So they organised their own dinner and packed up their gear and chilled out.
I drove across town to visit another cousin who I hadn’t seen in a very long time.
I joined them for a fish’n’chips dinner.
Michelle had just arrived home from a scrapbooking weekend so we had loads to talk about.
Catching up on family and then once Russell headed off to work we talked art 🙂
I was delighted to find someone who is as obsessed as myself.
Most impressed with her work.
She has a very definite style.
I was getting really weary so I dragged myself back to the motel around 8pm.
Crashed straight into bed.
I have been really struggling to hold back tears today.
Missing Tim so much.
Azzan posted a poem on FB this arvo and it broke me when I read it.
He didn’t write it – just identified with the sentiment.

I know this man
Who is dear to my heart
Suddenly one day
It was torn all apart

This man taught me every thing
That I needed to know
But I never really listened
Until he had to go

He gave me love
And touched my life
Its all over now
He no longer has to fight

He tried to teach me
Right for wrong
The day he left
I wasn’t that strong

He is gone now
It is hard to believe
This man is my dad
Who I will never see

But I will see him again
This I know
The day will come
When its time for me to go

So, I’ll hold him dear
And close to my heart
Cause the day we meet
I know we’ll never be torn apart.
Disarae G. Kuhn

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