Friday 22nd August

It is so hard to get mornings moving when we finish the days before so late.
Even though I am waking up really early most days the kids are still sound asleep at 8am so I tend to let them sleep longer.
Azzan came in to see me this morning looking like death warmed up.
When I suggested that he should shower and get the day kicked along he complained that he had barely got his eyes opened and wasn’t yet thinking so a shower was definitely not on the horizon for a while!
Anyway, we eventually got moving.
Azzan walked Bella and then got on with his English homework.
Mahalia sat in the sun at the table and did hers.
I parked up on the sofa with my laptop and did mine.
Then Azzan moved out and halfheartedly did some Maths before we got into gear to go out.
It was such a beautiful day.
Too good to be stuck indoors.
We left around 1pm and drove to Mapua to have a look see in a couple of the shops there.
Then headed to Motueka to have a late lunch with Jillian at Up The Garden Path.
We arrived at earlier than planned just after 2pm, Mahalia was so starving hungry that I let the kids order their food and I waited for Jillian to arrive.
Mahalia had hers in reverse – she ordered the brownie because she knew it would be served more quickly that her mains and she couldn’t wait that long for food!!
‘Muuum! just let me eat in peace!’
I enjoyed a mochaccino while waiting.
It was rather delish!
Mahalia’s quesidilla and Azzan’s fish of the day arrived just after Jillian 🙂
I had to order the Moroccan Chicken salad again as I had enjoyed it so much last time.
We had a brilliant afternoon.
It is always good to spend time with Jillian.
We laugh, cry and share – she’s actually one of my friends I can talk about anything with and even when we are crying we are laughing.
Love you my special friend 🙂
The kids disappeared off and left us to talk.
Then Azzan came running in calling me to come help get Mahalia unstuck.
Im like, what now??
Jillian obligingly followed him.
I just knew that I had to take my camera 😉
She was 2/3rds the way up an enormous tree in the play area.
Jillian alerted me to the sign at the bottom of the tree – had to laugh!!
Such an errant mother I am!!
The upshot was, Mahalia carried on up the tree.
I asked her to please do not fall out cuz I didnt need any more dramas at present.
She called down to me to make sure I turned off the life support if she did!!
We laughingly returned to our table and continued with our tête-à-tête.
They eventually returned safely, Mahalia raving about the fantastic view she got from the top!
We finally got the feeling that they were closing up for the day so paid our bill and then went for a wander around the art gallery and bought a couple of things before finally leaving around 4:30pm.
Sucha lovely afternoon 🙂

On the way back I called in to visit an elderly friend.
I had met Bob a few weeks back and had promised to bring the kids to visit.
He was so happy to see me and invited us all in.
I was so glad I had finally gotten back to visit, and the day was right as he was having a bit of a downer of a day.
We sat and talked for a couple of hours.
He had obviously done some homework since my first impromptu visit and found a lot in common.
One of which was that Anson had shorn his son’s sheep a few years ago!!
He had also heard good reports about our family which was so lovely to hear back.
Such a small world.
He really enjoyed the kids and verbally sparred with Azzan and complimented them both on various aspects of their beings.
They took off with my camera and went walking around the cliff tops.
I am allowed to put these photos up if I tell that they were taken by a couple of astronomically fantastic photographers 🙂
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It was way after 6pm when we finally left with promises to return soon.
He gave us all warm hugs goodbye and we zoomed off down the drive and back to the house.
While I got dinner sorted the kids gave Bella a run and got her fed.
Azzan wanted to watch one of his movie choices.
He had hired Chernobyl Diaries because he is interested in finding out more about the Chernobyl situation and thought he was hiring a documentary.
It turned out to be the wackiest, stupidest, weirdest horror movie I have ever seen.
He was in such a state of disbelief that it wasn’t what he thought it was, that he was still trying to convince himself that it was actually a docu film for ages.
At the end I was like – ‘you have got to be kidding! I wasted my entire evening watching that rubbish when I could’ve been watching another Robin Williams film!!!’
It was so far fetched and bizarre that no nightmares could spring from it!!
But I definitely DO NOT recommend taking any time out to waste 86 minutes of your life watching this – total thumbs down mega times over :-/
Next time I will be more vigilant about checking his choices  cuz I have better things to do with my time 😉




Thursday 21st August

It’s so cool to look out my bedroom window and see the wee lambs arriving.
Really feels like spring is on its way.
Billy must have moved the small flock up the hill in the past few days.
I think I counted about 5 lambs and then this morning there were two more very tiny new lambs just born.
We honed off into town a tad later than I planned.
I was trying to get organised, actually I was organised, but hadn’t had my shower when Sandra phoned up for a chat, then Seb called too.
Was good to talk but I had to race afterwards.
We left with just enough time to drop Mahalia’s bike off at Ross’s.
Saw Seb there briefly while the kids unloaded the bike.
Then we raced off into the city with just minutes to – actually there were no minutes to spare!
Arrived just on 11am.
Carpark was pretty full already but I managed to snag a park and left Azzan to go suss out the nearby op shop and Mahalia to tie her laces and lock the car.
I arrived at Nelson Beauty Therapy right no time but they were running late so I had time to sit and breath and have a glass of herb tea.
Then I spent a lovely hour with Eloise.
She gave me a delicious facial.
Mahalia was busy doing her thing there as it was her work experience day.
Azzan came and waited in the reception area for me.
He was not interested in the library today.
It was after 12:30pm before I left.
Had to take Azzan straight to his English lesson.
While he was there I whizzed off to The Warehouse to suss out some items which the kids and I are going to need soon.
From there I went on to Rebel Sports to see what they had.
Then it was time to pick up Azzan and go meet Katarina.
She had opted to wait for me upstairs in Starbucks so I got a drink and sent Azzan off to get lunch from Chilandos.
He got me a chicken quesadilla, it was delicious.
We wiled the afternoon away up there chatting.
Azzan would head off to various shops and then report back in and entertain us both before going to another one.
Mahalia worked until after 4:30pm and then came by to pick up her English from the car and walked on up to her lesson.
Azzan and I wandered on to Glassons with Katrina, I bought a top and then we said our goodbyes.
We popped into Rebel Sports and had a good chat with the young fella there.
Nice change to have someone helpful and friendly.
Then we went to pick up Mahalia.
While I sat in the car and did some computer work on the laptop Azzan walked round to United Videos.
We picked him up there along with several Robin Williams dvds that I had been wanting to see.
They had a stand specifically set up with all his movies on it – it was pretty empty so Im guessing a lot of people are catching up and reminiscing.
We came straight him and had the lunch Mahalia had forgotten to take to town with her for dinner.
Just added some salmon & spinach to it.
It was easy and very delicious.
Watched Good Will Hunting.
Such a great movie.
I was totally engrossed, and when Robin/Sean kept looking straight at Will repeating over and over ‘It’s not your fault’ I just cried along with him.
It triggered some stuff for me, good to let triggers work in your favour sometimes.
It was after 10pm when we all made a move towards bed.
There was loud crashing and banging noises coming from Azzan’s room for some time after.
Have no idea what he was doing!

Wednesday 20th August

I woke around 7 so sat in bed and caught up on mail etc.
Was reading blog of a friend when I saw something that alerted me that something was wrong.
Did some more investigation and discovered that our friend Ian had been killed over the weekend in a motorcycle accident.
He was in Cambodia doing the mission work he loved so much.
I was so upset.
Really feel for Trish and the family.
Seems like we have only just farewelled Hayden, then I was still reeling from Daphne’s death and now this.
It was all too much.
I could barely see the keys through my tears.

Later I received a  text from Phoebe sending me a big hug and ‘kissy breakfast lip loves’ from Sapphie.
Made my day xxxx

The kids wanted me to wake them at 8am but when I went in they were totally out to it so I had my shower first.
Then roused the sleeping babies.
We only had a few hours of the morning to get things done so I was chasing them along a bit.
Mainly Azzan as he wanted to come to town with me in the afternoon.
He and I sat on my bed and worked.
He was trying to write his English homework and I was trying to update my blog, but he kept talking which was a bit frustrating as I couldn’t focus.
Eventually I stopped to help him and then set him alight on his maths but that was a fizzier as we are still having problems with the program running on the iPads.
I got so sick of it that I phoned Australia to ask for help.
The IT guy was pretty much useless.

It was time to get moving so I heated up the left over salmon fill from last nights dinner for lunch.
Then gathered up what I needed to take with me and Azzan & I left around 1pm.
Mahalia was busy working on her maths.
She had already done a lot of her English and I really wanted her to spend most of the arvo on Maths to get some catch up time in.
Azzan & I stopped off at Ross’s to talk about the iPad issue.
Can’t figure out whats going on :-/
Had to get hiking so we took off soon after 2pm.
Stopped at the orthodontist to pick up some more bands for Mahalia and then into town to wait for Anat & Rami to arrive with their 3 kids at the Citizenship Ceremony at the Council Chambers.
Finally they arrived and we all followed the rest of the folk upstairs and found seats.
The ceremony kicked off at 3:30pm.
There was a good crowd, 33 people being presented with New Zealand Citizenship and lots of supporters.
There were folk from many countries – England, USA, Australia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, South Africa, Germany, Latvia, etc…and of course Israel
Here they are – not yet citizens 😉
I found it very moving and extremely interesting.
I had never been a part of anything like this before.
There was an English woman in front of me and she was very emotional about receiving her citizenship.
It was good for Azzan to witness it all too, so many of the folk came from war torn and less advantaged countries.
NZ must seem like a real haven for them.
We don’t know how lucky we are Trev!!

Congratulations Rami – you are now a Kiwi 🙂
Each person pledged their oath or allegiance and were then presented with their certificate of citizenship plus a small native tree.
Our lady mayor spoke after the presentations.
I had to leave the room for a while because I was hit by another coughing fit.
It was horrid but I was so glad it held off until after Anat & Rami’s presentation had happened.
It took ages for me to stop coughing and get to a point where I could go back in so I missed the last few presentations.
The mayor with 5 new Kiwis 🙂
Azzan had to try it all out for size too!
The Nayland primary school Kapa Haka group performed for us after we all sang our national anthem.
Afternoon tea was served at the end of the proceedings.
Once we had taken enough photos, eaten plenty of food,  talked long enough andwished many congratulations, we headed on our merry way.
I zipped around to pick up a book I had on order but the shop shut at 5pm and I was 5 mins late.
Have to reschedule that for tomorrow.
My throat was so sore from the coughing I took myself to Starbucks and got a frappaccino to soothe it.
Water doesn’t always do the trick and this time the cold frappe helped immensely.
Haven’t had one in ages add I have gone off sweet stuff but this one really did help.
We called into see Roni.
Mahalia’s passport had arrived this morning so I got her to enter the details in her database.
She is out security backup when any of us are travelling.
The evenings are beginning to stretch-out now, it was near 6pm and still quite light.
We headed around to Tahunanui and popped in to see John & Sally for a chat about a few things including the iPad issue.
From there was went to Ross & Andrea’s to pick up the laptop and iPads.
Andrea was busy working – I think we were invading her bubble space cuz we were rather noisy and interruptive – sorry Andrea 😉
Caught up with Shoshannah too.
She and Azzan should really learn not to play with my phone when I am not looking.
They are lucky I didn’t publish all the photos 😉
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We didn’t get home till around 9pm.
Azzan did maths while I cooked up some dinner.
Got him off to bed around 10pm but Mahalia was still working on her English till after 11pm.
It is now far too late for me to have the light on so I am going to finish now.
Night all.

Tuesday 19th August

My town day began with a 10:15am appointment so I had to get the kids up and running reasonably early.
I was doing okay but Azzan couldn’t find his phone so I was getting a tad frustrated & he got grumpy.
Azzan took Bella for her walk.
I made a smoothie for the kids while he was out but I didn’t do it right and apparently it tasted awful so I left Mahalia to doctor it up.
But have a feeling that it was still not going to be ingested despite the bulk of it going into the fridge for later.
I managed to get them into the car and was puling out of the drive when I thought to ask the question – again!
‘Have you got your Kip McGrath work?’
No verbal response but the immediate body language intimated to me that I should stop, and she ran inside and got it!
I also received a brief call at that moment which really upset me so I was not in a good frame of mind.The half hour drive helped to thaw the temperatures inside the car 😉

We had time to pop into The Bakers Cafe to pick up some still hot out of the oven pastries before I dropped the kids off at the library.
I zipped up the street to my counselling appointment.
When that was finished I picked up the kids and took them to Chilanos where they were meeting Angela and her kids for lunch.
Got them sorted and then headed off to my midday appointment with Scott.
Because I have this really annoying tickle cough which is getting worse and once it sets in I cannot stop tip I am almost retching, he gave me a really good massage to try and loosen up anything that might be causing it.
Always feel incredible after a session there.
Just sorry I can’t get another appointment for quite some time due to his popularity!!
I zipped up the street and found a park right outside The Bakers cafe and met up with Liz for lunch.
We enjoyed a delicious bowl of soup & bagel and then finished off with a mocha and eclair.
Perfect fare for a chilly day.
Was so good to have an hour to sit and chat with her.
Been far too long.
Life’s a bum sometimes, really gets in the way of our social life 😉
We finally had to head off – Liz to pick up Harry from hospital and me to  Renaissance for a wash and cut.
It was good to sit and rest awhile.
Always lovely to spend time with Hitomi.

I then went and did some browsing which led onto shopping 😉
While shopping I received word that my cousin with the brain aneurism had died.
Really gutting news even though I knew it was pretty inevitable.
Daphne was a lovely vibrant lady who I loved muchly.
She will be missed.

I picked up the kids.
Was pretty gutted to find that the iPads had been malfunctioning again and they hadn’t been able to get any maths done.
So after dropping Mahalia off at Kip McGrath I went back to the library and talked to the librarians and tried to find out why their computers were also unable to play the MathsBuddy programme.
They were very helpful – managed to get it going on one group of computers but not the ones the kids had tried so something weird going on which they said they will get their IT guys onto.
From there we went over to have a chat with Jane.
She was closing the shop and heading the same direction as us so I gave her a lift.
We both needed groceries so New World was best place to stop so Mahalia was able to walk and meet us there once she had finished her lesson.
We dropped Jane off home and then carried on to Smugglers.
I had one voucher left so decided to use it tonight to save cooking a late dinner.
While waiting there was some camera fun 🙂
We all ordered the salmon fill.
Me because I have had it before and know it is pretty darn good.
The kids because they had seen it and thought it looked good, but it was far to rich for them.
They should’ve shared one meal.
So we got the remainders put aside to bring home for lunch tomorrow.
Because they were still hungry they were able to devour dessert.
We went to visit Ross & Andrea on the way home as I had a lot of paperwork to drop off.
Also had a pressie to give to Andrea for her birthday on Sunday which I had intended to take in on the way home but due to our intense weariness we forgot.
We stayed quite late so didn’t get home till after 10pm.
Unpacked groceries etc and headed straight off to bed.

Monday 18th August

We woke to a sunny crisp morning.
The amount of snow seems to be increasing each day.
We have a glorious view westwards from here.
I was very aware that it was the 18th today.
When I went to wake the kids, before he had even opened his eyes, Azzan reached out to me for a big hug.
It was very appreciated even though I don’t think he realised the day it was.

I have been watching this beautiful magnolia gently unfolding over the past days.
It is the most glorious colour.
Hope it opens fully before we leave.
It was really good over the weekend to be out of range of all cell and internet coverage.
Quite relaxing and freeing.
But on return I had a lot to catch up on.
I had picked up our mail on Friday when we drove through Havelock, plus Seb had brought me out over 2 weeks of it which had piled up at home.
Mahalia & I worked at the dining room table in the sun.
It was really lovely to enjoy the heat without the chill of the outside temperatures.
It was a tad frustrating when the internet decided to do a go slow on me.

That was a good time to pack it all in and get ready to go out for the afternoon.
We drove over to Brightwater following Siri’s directions which took us on a route I hadn’t driven before so that was fun.
We arrived at Angela’s place around 1:30pm and spent the arvo with her and the kids.
It was nice to sit in the sunshine and chat and catch up.
She, Amma & Logan had just returned from a wonderful tip to California and were still jet lagged.
We left as the sun was disappearing and the day was turning very chilly.
Followed Siri once again and went back by another route.
Followed a van towing a trailer of rubbish which at one point nearly caused us some grief when some rather long black broom like bits blew off and bounced right in front of us.
The van driver kept on totally oblivious to the havoc he nearly caused.
Mahalia got his plate numbers but in the busyness of getting him I forgot till now that I hadn’t made the call about his negligence.

We came home and cooked up a big feed of veges and heated enough beef stew for Mahalia and me.
Azzan is doing the vegetarian thing for a few weeks so his plate was void of meat but piled with veges 🙂
I sat up late and went through the mail and paid all the bills.

It is 18 months tonight that I lost Tim.
18 months.
I cannot believe that time is moving so fast.
Every morning I wake up is one more day away from him.
If I don’t think about him it doesn’t hurt so much.
But it is almost impossible not to have him at the foremost of my mind and heart so the hurt is constant.
I bury it to allow myself to operate in a somewhat sane state.
I keep busy with the children, I try not to look at photos even thought they are flashing constantly across my computer screen normally buried under open files.
But occasionally my screen is blank and I see his precious face.
I’m told constantly that I am doing well, that I am strong, that I am handling it all…..
But deep inside I don’t feel that.
I honestly feel so lost and unfocussed at times.

Sunday 17th August

I was awake early again, read my book for a while and then had a shower and packed up my gear.
Denise was already up, Peter had gone out to work and Beth surfaced soon after.
We had some breakfast and chatted a while.
I was heading back to Pine Valley to pick up the kids so said I would take Denise that far so she could organise a ride to town.
We were just cruising along in no particular hurry to leave when I received a phone call.
My cousin’s wife had tracked me down to let me know that another cousin who is very dear to me had crashed her car after suffering an aneurism.
Miraculously no one else was hurt or involved in the accident.
However she was on life support and the prognosis was not good.
I was asked to pass on the news to the family.
We then threw everything in the car and said goodbye to Beth & Peter.
It was so good to have been able to spend the time with them both.
We stopped off at the hall where the big clean up was underway.
It was a huge job.
Passed on the news to those there and then went on up to the house.
Lloyd had just returned from feeding out to the stock.
He had taken my two, Luke and Lincoln with him.
They had been having a great time.
It was really hard to dampen the morning after the memorial service with more bad news 😦

There was a lot of coming and going throughout the next few hours.
We chucked an assortment of food on the table and called it morning tea which then became lunch.
Having leftovers is handy!!
The kids and I finally pulled ourselves away from it all around 2pm and after lots of hugs goodbye we headed down to pick up their gear and then headed back towards Nelson.
It was a dull overcast dreary afternoon and we were all very tired.
The kids had not gotten to sleep until 3am so they dozed most of the way over the hills.
Bedelia was cleaning the shop so I stopped in and had a bit of a catch up with her.
Then we picked up Bella and headed home.
No one was particularly hungry so we just unpacked and chilled.
Got the kids off to bed fairly smartly.
I am currently reading a book by Louise Nicholas called ‘Louise Nicholas: My Story’.

When I got home I checked the tv guide to see what was on cuz I felt like a bit of a blob out time.
I was interested to see that the screen version of her story ‘Consent’ was playing late tonight so I sat up and watched it.
It was done extremely well, although as I was reading the book I did keep mentally comparing the two.
Both the reading and the viewing are hard stuff.
It is hard stuff.
I commend Louise on her stand and strength in bringing this hard stuff to the publics attention and making a stand for others in abusive situations to be able to get the help they need and deserve.

Saturday 16th August

We woke to a frosty morning.
Quite chilly so was glad I had come prepared with warm clothes.
We had a leisurely breakfast and then all of a sudden it was after 10am so Beth raced into her clothes and we were off down the road with Peter following a few minutes behind.
There was already quite a crowd of people at the Outdoor Centre when we arrived.
We were gathering for a memorial service to celebrate the life of my young cousin Hayden who was killed just 2 months ago.
It was to begin at 11am but with everyone intent on enjoying chatting in the sunshine it took a wee while to convince the crowds to take their seats.
Finally Rev Don Moses got the programme underway.
My Uncle Lloyd spoke at length about his youngest son, with Aunty Val supporting him.
It was not an easy call for either of them.
It was really interesting to hear some of the adventures and exploits Hayden had participated in.
He really did live life on the edge!
He was a very bright & talented young man with an aptitude for things mechanical, combined with a sharp wit and ability to fix and build from almost nothing.
The recounts of some of his antics caused a lot of laughter.
Hayden’s 6 year old son Lincoln read his own tribute to his ‘awesome’ Daddy.
There were several speakers recounting their memories of Hayden throughout the service.DSC03738  DSC03745 DSC03747 DSC03752 DSC03754
including his sister Vanessa & brother Roland.
They were a tight threesome.
Rev David Gribble finished up the service.
Then we all gathered for a shared lunch.
People milled about inside and out.
It was a beautiful sunny day which helped to balance the chilly air temps.
There was so much food that the tables were almost groaning from the weight of it all and inspire of there being a crowd of well over 100 we still couldn’t do justice to it all.DSC03760  DSC03763 DSC03765 DSC03767 DSC03768 DSC03770
I was really pleased to be able to send time with Pam & Paul, hadn’t seen them since Jesika’s wedding so we had a lovely long catch up chat whilst enjoying the sunshine.

During the afternoon we all went on up to the homestead and the family planted a tree.
It was very moving to watch Nelson & Lincoln – Hayden’s two little men – plant the memory tree with their grandmother Val’s help.
The tall tree in the background was planted by my grandmother when she was very elderly so this one for Hayden will grow tall and straight and there will be a matching pair.DSC03797
We went back to the hall and a bonfire was lit down in the paddock in Hayden’s honour as he always loved bonfires.
It was pretty impressive and burned for hours.
In fact it was still smouldering when I returned the next morning.
Lots of socialising around the fire until after dark.
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I walked back to the hall after dark with David and Uncle Graeme.
It was lovely to spend time with him today.
He lost his wife 10 years ago and he commented to me that he misses her more now than ever before.
So don’t tell me that time heals!
I’m thinking that losing a loved one is sorta like losing a limb.
The flesh heals but the ache never goes away.

A friend of Lloyd & Val’s was returning to Nelson tonight so she took Shoshannah back with her.
She was tired and has exams coming up and I couldn’t guarantee that I would be back very early on Sunday so it worked out well.
Mahalia & Azzan were happy to stay and hang out with their cousin Luke at the bbq so I left around 6:30pm and went back to Beth & Peter’s.
It was lovely and warm up there.
My back had been giving me a bit of pain so I was being very careful with it.
I absolutely do not want it going out like it did a couple of months back.
We had an easy tea, I knitted while we watched a bit of tv and then went off to bed.
Beth & I were so tired.



Friday 15th August

We spent the morning packing up and getting ready to leave the house for a couple of days.
I’m quite fanatical about not leaving a mess to come home to so I was pretty annoyed to find the kitchen had been trashed after I had already cleaned up.
Azzan had cooked up some breakfast for him and Mahalia.
Oh well, tidied up as quickly as I could.
Azzan cleaned the car out and got the back ready for Bella.
He chatted with Bob while Mahalia and I did the last few things and locked up.
Then we were off into town.
Stopped in at Arrow Motels to see John & Sally and return the baby cot.
Bella got out for a wander and then we were off into the city.
We went to Jay Jays to change Mahalia’s jersey, had a chat with Jane Jane – as the kids now call her 🙂
Azzan stayed in the car with Bella – he was happy to stay and read his book as long as I got him a Lemon & Lime frappe from Colombus Cafe.
He’s a cheap dog sitter 😉
When Mahalia & I came out to leave there was a delivery truck parked right behind us so I walked to The Baker’s Cafe and got myself a mocha and some pastries for us all as we were rather peckish and were meeting Seb & Phoebe for lunch much later than first planned.
Zipped down to The Body Shop to buy some pressies and then we took Bella up to Nicola for the weekend.
By then it was 1pm and Seb had finished his physic appointment so they met us at Cafe Affair for lunch.
We got a long table upstairs and Sapphie entertained us while we enjoyed some delicious food.
She is at such a cute stage, learning to clap, blow raspberries, and is saying her first Mama & Dada sounds.

It was really chilly outside so we didn’t stand around for too long saying our goodbyes.
We were of over the hill to Blenheim by around 3:30pm.
I picked up the mail on the way through Havelock but apart from that there were no stops as Azzan was wanting/hoping/pleading/dreaming of getting to the Blenheim library which was shutting at 6pm.
I managed to get him there soon after 5pm so I went in with him and chose a few books and dvds.
He was in heaven!
He doesn’t think any other library measures up to this one 🙂
I left him there and walked over to Countdown to get a few groceries.
Mahalia was weary so waited in the car with the instruction that if he didn’t appear by 5:50pm then she was to go get him through the check out so he didn’t get locked in!!
I pushed my trolley across to the car, loaded in the groceries and zipped in to find the kids.
They were last ones in there and the assistants were checking out & filling the multitudes of cd and dvd cases that Azzan had chosen.
Finally got them all loaded into the car and we were off to Pine Valley.
Half an hour later we arrived at Lloyd & Val’s.
They had only just arrived home too, there were several other friends and family there so we said our hi’s and bye’s, got instructions on where the kids were sleeping and we drove 2kms back down the road to the Outdoor Centre.
They were happy to get settled and wait for David & Sasha to arrive with Shoshannah & Luke, who had just flown in from Wellington.
I carried on up to Cat Creek where I was staying with Beth & Peter.
It was after 7pm when I arrived and Beth had dinner waiting.
So the rest of the evening was spent catching up around the kitchen table, eating delicious food and enjoying great company.
I was very glad of a comfy bed and electric blanket and did not envy the kids camping down in Fantail Cottage at all 😉

Thursday 14th August

I woke up early, felt really grotty so went back to sleep for a while longer.
Woke up before 7am still feeling yuck.
Read till just before 8am, poked my head into the kids rooms but absolutely no movement from either of them so I went and let Bella out and had my shower.
Then woke the kids.
Azzan is always pretty good about getting up, but he was quite sluggish this morning.
Once he was up he was on the go so I got him to unload the dishwasher and take Bella for her walk while I made smoothies and boiled some eggs for breakfast.
I swallowed down several lots of vitamin c and olive leaf to try and stave off whatever was attacking me.
Mahalia is not the speediest critter in the mornings but she did okay today.
It was rather chilly with the prospect of the weather deteriorating further so I encouraged the kids to bundle up warm in preparation.
Azzan had a chat with Bob while Mahalia and I were getting ourselves out the door.
Bob was still in his pjs, slippers and dressing gown – he reckoned he was being a movie star 🙂
We were away from the house before 9:30am.
Just as well, because I had driven about 4kms up the road when Mahalia remembered she had left her phone at home.
So I did a turn as soon as I could safely get out of the traffic, which was still quite busy, and we zipped back to get it.
When we got to town I parked up in Buxton carpark to drop Mahalia off at Nelson Beauty Therapy.
I went in to see Bedelia, ended up having a lengthy visit.
I was really feeling off colour and quite miserable.
Azzan opted to come with me to my appointment so I set him up in the waiting room with my laptop and mifi unit and he did some research while Scott worked his magic on my shoulder muscles and back.
I was not at all well when I arrived but afterwards I felt so much better. 
Azzan was very excited about some of the information he had discovered and he chatted away to me about it as we drove to his class.
I dropped him off after schooling him up to where I would be and how to get there once he had finished.
He had his phone so I was happy for him to walk there.
I went to The Bakers Cafe to meet Phillipa as she finished work just after 1pm.
The weather had packed up and it was now very cold and wet.
I was very glad I had rugged up and that we had decided to meet there as it is always lovely and warm inside.
I was so hungry that I ordered a bowl of broccoli soup.
It was delicious and just what my throat needed.
Phillipa and I chatted until the cafe was about to close and Azzan arrived.
He was delighted to have found the Asian shop and had bought a couple of things to eat and drink.
I gave Phillipa a ride up to her car as it was a bit skuddy outside, then we headed to JayJays as Azzan was pretty keen on a backpack he had seen there.
I love it when you get things in a sale and when it goes through the checkout it is even cheaper 🙂
From there we went and met up with Mahalia who had finished work and was keen to browse Glassons etc.
She discovered Sophie was at the library so I dropped both the kids there, they had an hour before she needed to be at her English class.
They all walked there and then Azzan went on home with Sophie.
I met up with Estelle at Cafe Affair.
It is ages since we were able to have some time to talk, let alone talk on our own, so it was really good to spend and hour there.
She needed to do a spot of shopping before heading to the hospital to see her father so I tagged along, then she dropped me off at my car.
I fuelled up the car and went to pick up Azzan.
Had a fees minutes to chat with Margaret & Dave before we picked up Mahalia.
She is doing really well which is great.
It was late and dark and cold and we were tired and hungry, but we diverted off to Ross & Andrea’s to pick up some mail.
Somehow I had missed filing out something on Mahalia’s passport application and it had been sent back – bother it!
We socialised with them and Shoshannah until they had their dinner then we zipped off back here.
I cooked our dinner while Mahalia did some of her homework and Azzan started packing for the weekend.
I was visited by this very cute bear tonight 🙂
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I was going to get an early night but ended up sitting here in the peace and quiet doing some research.
But as it is now late I think I will take myself off to bed.
We have a bit of a long weekend coming up, beginning tomorrow.


Wednesday 13th August

A quiet morning at home was called for today.
I stayed late in bed and worked on my laptop for a while.
Kids took a while to surface and when they did they continued with their pj morning.
Mahalia cooked up a storm and made herself so many pancakes with bacon & berry coulis that she was pleading for us to help her eat them!
We couldn’t so she had to leave them for later.
Azzan worked on his review from his pillows.
I went for a wander out to get the mail and found Bob sitting in the sun so had a good chat with him for a while.
He’s a lovely 83 year old originally from Scotland with so much history.
He has also spent a lot of time on D’Urville Island so that was really interesting to talk about.
He is leaving here in a few days so won’t have much more opportunity to sit and talk.
Came back to find kids finally dressed, Mahalia working on her maths and Azzan had made some lunch.
I took Bella for a walk to the end of the road and back.
It was a cool morning but I didn’t need my jacket.
I made myself some lunch and then sat and did some more work on my laptop and ‘supervised’ the kids.
I’m trying to get on with my TEFLink course but today my brain just would not compute and I felt that what I read was going straight through.
Just hope that it gets more interesting soon, at the moment it is weighed down in boring stuff.
Mahalia began writing a story while Azzan sweated over his review.
He finally asked to go out and ride his bike.
It is good he is bering pushed like this but I am thinking he needs a tad more structure with it.
It appears we have used up the allocated monthly amount of internet already – darn it!
Still a few days left till it renews on the 20th.
So pleased I still have my back up mifi units that I haven’t used yet.
So I am eking out what data I have left on those for now.

I have a slight tickley throat which is really annoying, I am hoping it is not going to develop into anything like Azzan had.
I have been feeling a tad off this arvo, not quite 100%.
Maybe I’m simply tired, hopefully just tired and nothing worse brewing!

I saw some very black clouds moving in quite rapidly so I asked Azzan to take Bella for another walk before the rain set in.
Just as well he did because it poured down soon after.
But by dark it had cleared.
We are being forecast an over night low of 0’C so have the fire going and the heater on in the hall to take the chill off the house..

Heated up leftovers for dinner so that was easy.
Sat and knitted while watching a little bit of tv, interspersed with helping kids with their school work and talking to Estelle, Andrea and Ella on the phone.
Have left Mahalia to finish her English and I am in bed about to read my book till it hits the floor………