Sunday 31st August

Another gorgeous day.
It is technically the last day of winter but Spring is certainly showing its colours already.
I needed to catch up with Seb before he left so Azzan and I raced into our clothes and out the door in record time.
We were at David & Sasha’s before 10am.
Sasha was wrapped up on the couch, bummer she is not well again.
No fun being sick and missing out on fun activities.
Seb & Phoebe had shopping to do so we drove down tot he mall and while Phoebe & Azzan did the vege shopping at Benge & Co, Seb & I babysat Sapphire next door at Colombus Cafe.
It was so lovely to be able to sit outdoors and be warm enough.
There was an occasional cool breeze so Sapphie found shelter inside her Daddy’s jacket.
Love this photo – look at the hand sizes 🙂
Mahalia & Shoshannah walked down to meet us after church.
They arrived just in time to say goodbye to Phoebe, Sapphie & Seb.
They were heading on their homewards journey.

Azzan had found a compilation of Alfred Hitchcock movies so I went to The Warehouse to buy it with him.
Then left Shoshannah there browsing.
We zoomed up to pick up Mahalia’s bag from the house and headed back home.
It was such a lovely day.
Did I already mention that already?? 😉

Put the jug on, made a cuppa and sat in the sun chatting with Billy while we ate chocolates.
Roses chocolates no less!
What better way to spend a sunny Sunday 🙂
I left Billy chatting with the kids as Jesika had messaged me to say she was off shift and was awake enough to talk.
She is nearly finished her fortnight, budgeting her sleep and work allowances to try and keep herself sane is hard going.
One week of 10 hour day shifts, followed by one week of 10 hour night shifts don’t allow for a steady regular sleep pattern so she is having to learn to adjust and ensure she gets enough quality sleep to ensure she can last the distance.
It was good to catch up with what she is doing, but she finally had to go fall into bed and sleep so I said goodbye and then wandered the garden some more.
The magnolias are all in bloom now but this one is particularly beautiful.
I just love the depth of colour, the shape of each blossom.

We grabbed a quick bite to eat and zipped down to Mapua to see Ella and go suss out her horse paddock.
Mahalia is looking at all options for Olly at present.
Ella took us on a guided tour of Mapua’s real estate, interesting to see the properties for sale and how the place is expanding etc.
Came back and had a cuppa with her before coming back home for dinner.
The sunset was sooooo cool tonight.
The light streaks were magical.
Love this photo showing the moon in its first quarter high above the setting sun.DSC04068

Me and my girl tonight xxxx

Saturday 30th August

Didn’t sleep well or long.
Too much on my mind.
Woke early.
Spent time just pondering stuff before it was time to get the kids up.

It was a lovely day to be out and about.
We headed into Richmond.
I dropped Azzan off at Ross & Andrea’s.
He was supposed to be hanging out with Shoshannah, but she had gone off mountain biking with David & Luke.
So he hopped in the car and went to the mall with R&A instead.
Then he hung out at their place, rested, slept and played on the computer until she returned later in the arvo.

We went and caught up with this young lady who was decorating Sasha’s ‘new’ chair.
Mahalia fell in love with it – good score Sasha!
I took Mahalia into the city and dropped her off to spend the day with Sophie.
I was attending Ian’s funeral which was due to begin at 1pm.
I knew it would be a packed service and wanted to be there early.
Miraculously found a park across the road from the church and arrived there about half an hour before the beginning so had time to catch up with a few folk.
Graham was there, he has recently returned from his trip to Phillipines and Australia so it was good to catch up with him.
We sat with Jillian & Colin.
It was a great send off for Ian.
I was already feeling very emotional so was finding it hard to contain my tears throughout the service.
Two and a half hours later we all converged on the afternoon tea tables which were groaning under the weight of so much food.
I was ravenous so was glad to help lessen the tables load!
Chatted with lots of folk.
It is interesting attending a funeral of someone like Ian – you see folk there and wonder how and why they knew him.
The web of his life was far reaching, touching so many lives.

It was nearly 5 when I left.
I was supposed to be meeting someone but he didn’t show so I sat on the riverbank and talked to Sunni for ages.
We don’t get to chat without interruption much so it was good to have that time free in such a peaceful place.
Then it was time to pick up Mahalia, Sophie & Katherine and head off to a certain person’s birthday party.
We celebrated Shoshannah’s 17th birthday tonight because on the day she will be at a camp and we will be in Vanuatu.
We had Crusoes Cafe all to ourselves.
The beauty of a large family is that we have enough numbers to make a private booking worthwhile 🙂

Sapphire wishing her Aunty Shanni a happy birthday 🙂
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My camera was left behind so the following photos were taken during the evening on Shoshannah’s camera and also on her new iPhone 4 which I gave her for her birthday 🙂
She thought that her birthday present was just the tickets to Auckland to visit Sunni in a few weeks time so she had no idea I was even thinking about a phone.
As she is the worlds worst at keeping a phone in functioning state it is a real risk giving this to her.
But I am hoping that this one will last a long long time!!

Martin with the amazing vegan stir fry Rami created for him – so much that he had to take most of it home for tomorrow!!
Ross – looking grumpy – guess it was cuz his food came out last!P1010134
David, without Sasha who stayed home sick – we missed you Sasha 😦P1010135
Party girl – way past her bedtime but she was in party party mode!!
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Azzan & Sophie
Gareth & Shoshannah
Cousins – good timing Luke to be here for a birthday 🙂P1010141
Ross – happy now he has food!
Luke trying to get his munchers around the humungous  hamburger!!P1010144
And the rest are from the iPhone as they played throughout the night.


It was a really lovely evening.
Happy Birthday Shanni – just in case I don’t get to talk to you on the 13th xxx
Love you my darling nearly to be 17 year old.
May your coming year be filled with love, laughter, and loads of blessings xxxx

It was after 9pm when we all left.
I dropped Mahalia off to spend the night with SHoshannah and Azzan and I come back to the house.
Billy had fed Bella for us, so we let her inside and Azzan gave her some tlc before we headed off to bed.


Friday 29th August

I thought I was going to town alone today but at the last minute Azzan decided he needed to accompany me.
We had a few things to do here at the house before we left so it was way after 11am before we hopped in the car.
Mahalia stayed to get on with her school work and walk Bella.
It was a gorgeous day so she took her for a long walk down to the estuary.
We zipped on into Richmond and stopped off at Dick Smith & The Warehouse to suss out prices of hard drives.
All Azzan wants for his birthday is a portable hard drive to load all his podcasts onto!
Because The Warehouse in Richmond has only just opened this week there is a big sale on and we found one there at a pretty good price, so he is one happy lad 🙂
I grabbed a rice ball from the sushi shop next door as I was starving and then we carried on up to Ross’s.
I had quite a few documents I needed to print out for our imminent holiday so I got all that done.

We had a meeting scheduled at 1pm with Anson & Sebastian.
I was pleased to see Cat, Bri & Nick arrive too.
We spent the afternoon discussing future plans and ideas re the farm and how to move forward.
Azzan played with Sapphire in between doing some maths and downloading podcasts onto his new hard drive, etc.
Once everything was over Anson took the others back into town and they headed back to Port Ligar.
Bri & Nick had taken a couple of days off work so were able to go spend a few days there too.
Seb & Phoebe took Sapphire off to go do some shopping.
I waited for Shoshannah to get home.
She had been working at the swimming pool after school so we crashed out in a single on the sofa and talked about the day for a wee while.
Finally it was late and dark so we dragged ourselves out to the car and headed home.
We were really hungry but too tired to drag ourselves out of the car into the supermarket for some decent food, so we swung into the BurgerKing drive through.
Shock horror!!
Got a burger and fries each and munched on them as we drove.
Once in a blue moon is seriously enough to know why we don’t do fast food.
But it filled a gaping hole tonight.
Mahalia had already eaten so we crashed out for a while, too tired to do anything.
Finally headed off to bed but couldn’t sleep.
Was up near midnight getting a bowl of Ricies & milk – tragic day dietary wise :-/

Thursday 28th August

We were all up really early today.
Azzan was very excited so he was up and dressed way before Mahalia was ready so I kept him busy doing small clean up jobs and walking Bella etc while we waited!
We actually left the house by 7:45am.
Total miracle – but by the time we got to Enner Glynn area the kids were able to see why I was anxious to leave early.
The traffic was banking up there already.
We did get to town a bit earlier than we needed to but instead of sitting in the car crawling along for miles in the rush hour traffic, we had time to a few of the small jobs I had lined up.
Then we still had time to go to The Bakers and get a pastry for breakfast.
That made them both smile 🙂
I got a mochaccino so that made me smile 🙂
I dropped Azzan into Fifeshire House at 9am where he met the local Media Works manager Christine, and she introduced him to another guy who showed him round for the next 40mins.
He got to sit in one of the morning breakfast show studios which made him very happy.
Mahalia and I carried on with a few more jobs until he called us to come get him.
Then we headed out to Founders and dropped off all the boxes of books that I had picked up yesterday, they were very happy to get them all. and I was relieved to finally be quite of them all.
The car was so much lighter after that!
Then it was time to drop Mahalia off at Nelson Beauty for her work day.
I chatted with Bedelia for a while and then mosied on to do some other jobs.
I walked the length and breadth of the CBD getting all the info together just to apply for a community service card – man they have really pulled out all stops to make you prove who you are now!
The even demand you get documents that are over two years old!!
As a private individual yo are not required to keep papers that long so Im guessing that part of the requirements could be rather difficult for some folk.
Popped into discuss some stuff with Roni then got Azzan a kebab for his lunch and I got a rice ball from the sushi shop.
Ate on the run.
I dropped Azzan off for his last English session for the term and I headed up the street for my counselling appointment.
Picked him up and chatted with his tutor afterwards and then found a park in the city centre again.
Azzan walked over to meet Mahalia and then they walked down to the library.
I had an appointment with the bank manager which was very interesting.
Afterwards I was quite hungry, but it was 3:30pm and most places were closing but  found a wee cafe I hadn’t been in before and they offered to serve me even though their closed notice was up.
The Vanilla Cafe is tucked in with Cooper & Rouge and is a delightful wee place with friendly staff, lovely food and now I have found it, it definitely is on my list of ‘must return to’ places!
Once I was refortified and my phone was charged up I headed up the street to the lawyers office.
Spent an hour chatting with Jon, I really appreciate his professional counsel and friendly advice. With not having Tim to talk things through with I really do need the help and support of others. I am shouldering a heavy weight which now I am alone often feels a very burdensome.
By 5pm Mahalia had already walked to Kip McGrath and Azzan was calling me so I figured it was time to leave.
We went for a tiki tour  round the river roads to suss out some places and then went to pick up Jane from work.
Stopped off at New World and got groceries before picking up Mahalia.
Cruised over the hill and dropped Jane home, with her groceries and humungous bunch of flowers which some ‘random admirer’ sent to her today – jealous much 😉
We drove straight back to the house, nice to arrive not too late.
Had time to chill out.
Bella was happy to see the kids for the evening.
I hopped into bed & watched ‘Joyful Noise’ and ate my dinner.
I had picked up a cooked chicken, salad and ciabata bread so dinner was nice and easy tonight.

Wednesday 27th August

I woke around 5am but unlike the previous few days I snuggled back down again and tried to sleep longer.
Finally got up just after 7am.
Let Bella out and then had my shower.
The kids were both out for the count so I left them until I was nearly ready to leave.
Made a list of things I wanted them to do and then woke them just before I walked out the door.
Went through the list with Mahalia – all was good.
I drove out to Spring Grove and picked up a heap of my curriculum that was left from what Marianne had been trying to sell for me.
She has sold a few items but there is still loads left.
She was out so I called her and found out where it all was.
Backed into the garage and lugged all the boxes into my car.
They filled the boot plus several on the back seat – whew!
I then drove back to Richmond, dropped paperwork off to Ross and went to visit Sally for a while.
Nice to sit and talk for a while, we don’t often get that time these days.
Joy called after 11:30 to say she and Beth were at the mall so I nipped down there to met them at Ginger Cafe for a cuppa.
Joy’s hot chocolate service was a real picture as was the famous ginger crunch.
Both the ladies sat and dissected it to see how they could make it at home 🙂
Then we had to steam off into the city to meet up with Jane, Sarah & Ava for lunch at 12:30pm.
We met at Deville’s cafe and as it was a lovely sunny day we were able to sit out in the courtyard and soak in the Vitamin D.
Jane with her Aunty Beth.
After Jane & Sarah left we sat and finished out lunches and talked some more.
Then it was time to shop so we headed over to Morrison Square.
Jane turned on her best sales pitches and tried to sell clothes to her mum and aunt – it was really funny 🙂
They did succumb and left carrying bags – you are just way too good Jane!!
Then we cruised into a couple other shops, I found a colourful tunic top in Hartleys on a extremely good sale so I came out of there carrying a bag too.
The only time I would carry a bag out of that shop is during a sale!!
We said our goodbyes and I drove round to Tahunanui to pick up a parcel from John & Sally and then onto Phillipa so she could check out the boxes of books as I was sure I had some of hers.
Ended up sitting and talking for ages.
Had a good heart to heart – I am still feeling very fragile and the tears spill without too much prompting.
Finally left just before 6pm and drove straight home.
The kids had done everything and were just making dinner when I arrived so I left them to it and chilled out for a while.
They had done the beginnings of a pumpkin, feta, spinach salad.
They watched Lovely Bones while the pumpkin roasted and I chucked it all together once that was done.
I took mine to bed and caught up on computer stuff while I ate.
Now it is just after 10pm and I have managed to get both kids into bed with lights out as they have very early rise in store.
Azzan is super excited about his day tomorrow, but to be in the city by 9am from here we have to leave early enough so the rush hour traffic doesn’t hold us up.

Tuesday 26th August

We got ourselves ready to head into town.
I was feeling really fragile and the slightest thing was tipping me over the edge.
Left around 11am.
Called in to see Ross briefly.
Not coping terribly well with stuff so didn’t stay long.
We were having lunch with my old flatmate Gail and arrived there at midday.
They bought a house which had belonged to folk we knew a while back.
Small world!
Gail & Jim have had it completely renovated.
It looks fabulous and have a magnificent view of Tasman Bay.
We chatted over toasted sandwiches.
Gail had been called out to work so we had just over an hour with them.
It was good to meet Jim and catch up on the lost years.
Drove off to town afterwards.
Had a little shopping to do but I was so bone achingly tired and generally really unwell so I sat in car and rested as much as I could, sending the kids in to do what they could for me.
We had a movie and dinner date with John & Sally and I was really worried that I wouldn’t last the distance.
I dropped Mahalia off at Kip McGrath and took Azzan over to Chalindo.
We got a toastados each which seemed to help raise the physical spirits a tad.
We met John & Sally at the cinema, they had already booked the tickets.
We went to see The Hundred-Foot Journey which began at 5:45pm, and Azzan went to Calvary which began at 6pm.
So I got him all sorted with movie sustenance and made sure he was heading to the right door with his ticket and left him to find his way in once the doors opened.
We thoroughly enjoyed our movie – it was so good, the story, the food, the setting, the characters – all fantastic.
Azzan’s finished just before ours so he came into find us, he was very happy with his movie choice too.
I sent him off to the restaurant with John & Sally and I went to pick Mahalia up from the Winningtons.
She had walked up there after her class.
We all enjoyed dinner at Krauts Restaurant.
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It was late so we were all hungry.
We all had the schnitzel – just in many various types.
Azzan had vegan, M&I had the chicken and Sally the pork, and John had the lot!!
It was a very pleasant evening and i lasted the distance way better than I thought I would.
We drove straight home, got here around 10pm and crashed straight into bed.
I Skyped with Nathan & Mira for a while before hitting my pillow.