Friday 24th October

I woke up at 7:10am and all was quiet so I crept out to the living room and did some stuff on my laptop for a while.
It was such a beautiful morning.
Am loving the views and all the different moods you see from up here.
Seb came out with Sapphie soon after.
She had fun exploring.
She’s not crawling yet, but does an excellent bum shuffle, and somehow gets places without you realising she’s gone until she has a prang with a chair leg etc.
We had a very quiet lazy morning.
Seb went off to do a couple of chores.
Azzan made green smoothies for breakfast.
Then I began making a brunch dish.
Took a while cuz I was moving rather slowly still.
Fried up aubergine slices in garlic & coconut oil, layered them into an oven dish and smothered them with fried onions, mushrooms & tofu.
Added some slices of tomato, then topped it with another flayer of aubergine slices and scattered sesame seeds over it.
Then baked it.
Served it with poached eggs on top and a side of avocado.
It was pronounced to be absolutely the most amazing dish I have ever made by Azzan!
Everyone else agreed 🙂
Just as I was about to poach the eggs Seb got a phone call and they had to rush off quickly.
But when they came back an hour later the rest of the dish was demolished so I’m figuring Seb liked it too 🙂
The kids did some school work of their own volition.
I wasn’t planning to go anywhere today as I just wanted to recuperate, but I had the chance to go view a house I was keen to see at 2pm.
So we quickly hopped in the car and zipped off to meet the agent and have a viewing.
Seb & Phoebe came to look too, it was a great help having some extra eyes and thoughts.
It was a start, and also good for the kids to learn to look beyond the superficialities and think of long term practicalities.
Agreed it was not for us.
We had a list of possibilities so Mahalia programmed each on into my iPhone maps and away we went to look.
The only house we liked was in the wrong place.
The area I would prefer  to live had houses we didn’t like.
But as I am not in a hurry, and we are only beginning the search, I am not too worried.
It is just interesting to be looking at what is around and begin making a list of what we want and what we don’t.
I quickly ran into the supermarket on the way home and stocked up on a few things.
Found fresh strawberries and medjool dates – of course I needed both of those 😉
Arrived back at the house just after 4pm, just in time for a lady to arrive with her young children to look at some books.
She bought a few which was great.
Martin & Sylvia arrived with Lorraine who was staying for the night.
It was lovely to have them all come to visit.
Mahalia used my iPad to give Martin a lesson on how to use Facebook so of course selfies were also in order 🙂
Seb & Phoebe arrived back just as they were leaving so they had a quick catch up with Lorraine in the driveway.
It was 6:30pm and the sun was still pouring in the lounge.
Sapphie enjoyed a snack before they left for home.
It has been a funny day weatherise today.
Gloriously sunny most of the day, but around 12pm a small rain shower passed over and then at 2:30pm another shower but this time it included some small hail stones.
Very weird!

Marah was having fun with Eden on the beach at home and sent me some photos.
Looks like she was having a wonderful time 🙂


The sunsets here are just gorgeous, and they make beautiful patterns on the mud flats when the tide is out.
Loving it.
Azzan cut up a large bowl of pear & kiwifruit for me, by the time I had munched through that I wasn’t terribly hungry.
The kids weren’t either so Azzan served us all up a bowl of fresh strawberries, banana and So Good vanilla ice cream.
An interesting dinner 🙂

We watched some tv and then headed off to bed.


Thursday 23rd October

I woke up this morning feeling like I’d been hit by a bus.
Came out to the living room and curled up on the couch.
The kids came out a bit later and Mahalia told me what I had done last night.
She was a bit freaked out by it all as she had never seen anyone sleepwalking.
Still cannot believe it myself.
Never done anything like that before that I am aware of.

My stomach was so fragile, the smell of the reheated last nights roast veges that the kids were having for breakfast just turned me over.
I laid low for most of the day.
Mahalia ran me a bath and I managed to have a bit of a soak before getting myself dressed and ready for some visitors.
Debbie arrived at 1pm with her kids to have a look through some of the books.
She took what she wanted and then I went back upstairs to crash out.
Seb & Phoebe arrived with Sapphie mid arvo.
Seb left his girls with us and went off to do some drop offs.
I all of a sudden realised it was time to take the kids to Kip McGrath so we quickly loaded them in the car and I managed to get them there just a few minutes late.
Then I went straight to Hangar 58 to meet up with Nathan.
It was his 19th birthday today and he had invited a few folk to come join him to celebrate.
He was sitting chatting with Martin & Sylvia when I arrived.
Then Tommy arrived, followed soon after by Seb, Phoebe & Sapphire.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY NATHAN – so proud of you my young man.
And so glad you returned home in time to celebrate with us xxxxxxx
Sapphie thinks you’re a pretty cool uncle too 🙂
Martin & Sylvia had to head home to feed their visitors just before we thought seriously about eating.
Mahalia & Azzan walked to meet us after their lessons.
David & Sasha came after work and then Shoshannah caught the bus in to join us too.
It was a very pleasant evening.
Lovely and sunny in the courtyard but with evening drawing in we opted to sit inside as it was warmer & less midges buzzing about.
Some of Nathan’s friends were in the courtyard and his workmate Lucas joined us for dinner.
I went really easy on the food, my tummy was feeling very fragile still.
Managed a small salad and a fruit smoothie.
It was good to sit and chat and catch up with each other.
There was some fairly typical family shenanigans, for some reason they always seem to follow David around 😉
We were all pretty weary so we called it a night quite early.
Lots of hugs goodbye well before 9pm, and then Nathan went to join his friends in the courtyard for a wee while.
David & Sasha took Shanni home, dropping Sylvia’s forgotten bag off to her on the way.
Seb & Phoebe and Sapphie took my room and I bunked in with Mahalia.
I was hoping for a better night tonight.


Wednesday 22nd October

Azzan & Mahalia had picked some grapefruit at home to bring out with us.
This humungous granddaddy was up the top of the tree.
I bagged it for my breakfast this morning.
It was so deliciously good.

I spent the morning in my pjs organising books to sell.
i spread them out on benches in the garage and photographed the ones I hadn’t yet recorded.
I loaded a lot of them onto a NZ homeschooling curricuum for sale FB site and it all went nuts!
I was trying to get myself into the shower and find clothes and I had people essaying me immediately wanting books.
It was great, just a little daunting.
I finally had to leave for town.
I dropped the kids off at the Winnington’s so they could go shopping with Sophie.
Then I headed to meet up with Katarina at 2;#0pm.
She had suggested The Styx and as I had not been there I was curious.
It was a bit cool so we sat indoors and ordered a late lunch.
We chatted away for ages and then realised our food hadn’t arrived.
Had to chase them up, quite slow considering the place was not at all busy.
I had the vege fritters with a poached egg which filled me adequately.
I was receiving calls from Azzan and discovered he had walked into the city on his own which I was not happy about.
But apparently Sophie had a change of plans and couldn’t go shopping.
Katarina had to leave at 4pm so I took off and found Azzan at the movie theatre.
Nothing appropriate for him to see so we went to Benge & Co and got some more fruit & veges, picked up Mahalia and then I brought them both back to the house.
They were going to chill out and make dinner while I went off to spend some time with Estelle.
It was really nice because she was all on her own so we had time to sit and relax and catch up on everything.
Finally I had to leave as I needed to get back for dinner.
Called in to John & Sally’s to pick up the port cot to have here for the g’daughters when they come stay.
The kids had a delicious 3 course meal ready.
We sat down and began on the very green entree served with an apple smoothie.
We watched ‘Psycho’ while we ate.
The main course was served – roasted potatoes, parsnip, pumpkin in oil and herbs.
I mixed up some cashew butter to add to it.
David called me up for a chat so I missed most of the movie.
But I can handle that 😉
It was getting late by the time we had our dessert – a bowl of fresh fruitIMG_9700
The kids cleaned up the kitchen – there were heaps of veges left for tomorrow.
I was so tired that I went straight off to bed and didn’t even read my book.
Mahalia recounted to me later that around midnight I was wandering up and down in the hallway muttering to myself for ages.
When she came out I was standing in my doorway looking really puzzled at her.
Mahalia had no idea what was going on.
She went to the bathroom and then came back and I was still standing there looking puzzled at her.
She said to me ‘What’s the matter?’
I said, ‘Why are we here? What are we doing? I’m lost.’
Mahalia told me I was at the Puklowski’s and I kept muttering to myself saying who are they and why are we here?
Mahalia explained to me that we are here so we could do school etc.
I kept on saying ‘Im lost’ over and over again.
Mahalia said to me ‘Mum, it’s late you really should go to bed now.’
I said to her ‘But I’m lost and I don’t know where I am.’
And I kept questioning why we were here.
I walked over to the curtains and pulled them aside and kept asking why we were here.
Mahalia told me over and over again.
Then I asked her ‘Where are you two sleeping?’
She told me they had their own rooms and told me ‘Mum why don’t you get into bed’ and put her hand on my back and guided me into bed and I kept on asking the same questions.
She got me to take off my glasses and and got me lying down.
I kept saying ‘Im lost. Halia is that you?’
She had to explain it to me several times before she turned off the light which apparently I must’ve turned on.

I have absolutely no recollection of any of the above and have never sleep walked before – that I know of!
Poor girl, she was a bit freaked out by it all :-/

Sometime later on, after the midnight hour, I actually woke feeling absolutely terrible and ended up donating all my dinner to the toilet bowl – twice 😦
Went back to bed and managed to sleep through.

Tuesday 21st October

I woke early and then crashed back into bed and slept till 7:30am.
I stayed in bed for a while as I needed to rest a bit after yesterday.
This little fellow was sitting outside my window when I opened the curtains.
I soaked some dates for muesli and some cashew nuts for cashew butter.
Figured out how to use the heat pump and got that going to take the chill off the house.
Then I went and tried to figure out what to wear for the day.
I had packed fairly randomly and the morning was a bit chilly so couldn’t decide.
Mahalia made up the muesli while I showered.
It was absolutely delicious 🙂
By this time the morning was running away on me and we had to run to catch our appointments.
I left Azzan to get on with his English and zipped Mahalia up to her orthodontist for her 11:30 session of teeth tightening!
Then back down to the CBD for my 11:30am appointment with Hitomi.
She trimmed and washed my hair.
Always good to have a tidy up – come out feeling a whole heap better after her magic fingers have done their stuff 🙂
Mahalia & I missed each other – she walked down to meet me and I went up to pick her up – duh!
Eventually tracked her down and zipped back to the house.
Left her there to carry on with school work and have lunch with Azzan.
She took a few fun photos before I left 🙂
I raced back into town and just made it for my 1pm counselling session.
Am never late and today was 1min late – typical – when you are close you are late and when you have to drive 3 hours to get there you arrive early!!
Had a good session but left feeling quite drained.
Popped into to see Nathan and pick up some stuff, he made me a fruit smoothie which I was going to take away but saw a couple of friends so stayed to drink it and chat with them.
Nice to stop for a few moments.
Then around the corner to visit a valuer and get some advise.
When I left there I received an email I needed to action quickly so I drove out to Richmond to deal with that at Ross’s.
Saw Shoshannah briefly, then zipped back to Tahunanui to pick up a parcel from Sally.
Arrived back at the house and discovered why Azzan had been calling me during the past few hours asking when I was going to be home.
He had made this delightful picnic on the front deck.
So we sat out in the sun at 5:45pm and enjoyed it.
And while we were enjoying our picnic Eden was at home enjoying hers 🙂
Love it when Marah sends me photos of her throughout the day, keeps us in touch when we away to often.
Chris popped in to help us sort a few issues.
He’s overseeing the house while the owners are away.
Good to chat with him for a while.
I was just coming in for dinner and Mahalia was like ‘Mum! Look!’
And of course I had to run for the camera.
Glorious sunset 🙂
Dinner was easy again – tacos and salad.
Azzan made an apple smoothie.
I’m sticking to my H2O tonight.
Got kids off to bed after we watched a movie.
It is a Robin William’s one that I had not heard of until I saw my bro had watched it.
‘Angriest Man in Brooklyn’.
Azzan didn’t really enjoy it, must say it was an ‘interesting’ story.
Trying to catch up on a few things here but bed is calling me so I think I will go find my pjs and pillows before I lose my glass slipper!

Monday 20th October

Woke to my last my last dawn at home for a while.
I had a good hour to shower and finish packing.
Got myself all sorted and heard a voice coming from the bedroom saying that he had woken up before the alarm clock.
It was 6:45am so I figured if Azzan was awake I should wake Mahalia as she takes way longer to get ready than the rest of us.
We got the car packed up, the house clean and tidy and the last load of washing on.
Closed up the house, squeezed into the car and we were gone before 8am.
We stopped off at Anson & Marah’s for an early morning visit.
Eden was not feeling the best so was being very Mum & Dad cuddly.
She was so funny when I took these photos.
She let me take this many..
Then her hand went up in objection saying ‘Stop Nonna! That’s enough!’
So I obliged and the phone was turned off.

It was nearing 9am and we needed to get on the road so there were lots of hugs goodbye and we trundled off up the road.
I was taking it very carefully as the car was loaded to the hilt.
The kids did not travel at all well.
Azzan was threatening to throw up un tip we got to Okiwi Bay and I forced him out of the car for a walk.
Mahalia developed a terrible headache on the side of her face/head and was incredibly miserable.
I found some painkillers for her but they didn’t seem to work for ages.
She went for a wander and lay on the beach at Okiwi Bay.
When I picked them both up they swapped seats, we diverted off to the store and got some ice blocks.
Azzan was feeling loads better by now but Mahalia was worse.
Nothing I could do be keep driving :-/

Finally we arrived in Nelson and navigated our way to our home for the next month.
Located the key and unloaded all our gear.
There is outside steps and inside stairs so we toted our bags etc up the steps.
The kids sorted out where everything was to go, Mahalia curled up on her bed and slept.
I left them to rest and headed into the city to get some jobs done.
I stopped off at Arrow Motels and picked up all our remaining gear, had a chat with Sally and then drove to Richmond.
Did a big fruit and vege shop at Benge & Co, grabbed a rice ball from the sushi shop for a late lunch on the run.
Spent the next hour with Ross getting paperwork done.
Picked Shoshannah up from school and drove back into the city.
We stopped off to pick up groceries and zipped back to the house.
Unloaded them all with the help of the kids who were by now rested and feeling lots better.
After carrying all the gear up the steps I discovered a back door and another driveway which I could have driven the car to and carried the gear directly into the house – duh!
Oh well, good exercise I suppose 🙂

We had to get a move along as the 3 kids had to be at Kip McGrath by 5pm.
I dropped them all off and then went to see Nathan.
Hadn’t caught up with him since he returned from Germany 3 weeks ago.
He had just finished work so we sat and had a good catch up.
He ordered me a delicious fruit smoothie which went down a treat as I was running on empty.
There are some glorious lilac trees outside Hangar 58 and they are all in flower at the moment.
Gorgeous colour and the scent is just glorious.
Had to run to pick up kids at 6:20pm.
They were all good, I organised the terms tuition timetable with Harriet and then we zipped up the hill to drop Shoshannah off at the Winnington’s.

By this time I was incredibly tired and just wanted to get back to the house and stop.
So I refused any pleas for socialising or shopping.
I was very glad we had brought out the leftover dinner from last night.
We heated it up and filled tacos and added fresh salady things to it.
The kids are so glad to have the Vitamix back again and after dinner they made a citrus smoothie, although Azzan was a bit over zealous with the citrus fruit and put in too much skin.
Mahalia added coconut milk and it was then actually rather good.
The evening sky was just lovely.
I think we are going to be rather happy here with this view 🙂

Sunday 19th October

I think I could fill a book with morning shots of the bay.
I love the light and the clouds and the patterns they form.
No morning is the same, and every morning changes so quickly that if you don’t grab the camera immediately you notice then its too late.
Seems between 6am and 7am at present is the best time to capture the morning light.
Shows summer is approaching fast.
When we were home last time it wasn’t even light this early.
 got up and spent some time updating my blog.
Find I am too tired to assimilate my thoughts at night so early morning is best.
Then the kids were up so we discussed the needs of the day – i.e. I gave them chores to do 😉
Then I lit the fire and had a soak in the bath with my book.
Am really loving the Kimchi Kiwis story. They have just entered North Korea on 5 motorbikes from the north!!
Hearing them describe Vladivostok makes me keen to add it to my bucket list of places to explore.
But I certainly am not inspired to travel the length of eastern Russia to get there!!
I’ll just plan on the plane or trans Siberian train option, much less dusty & muddy  😉

Mahalia had a phone call with Uncle Martin and then I had a quick chat.
Azzan had done everything he needed to do so I allowed him to rest and catch up on some ‘Big Bang Theory’ episodes he had missed due to being out dog searching.

Mahalia made crepes again but there was nothing to go on them so I improvised and spread them with pannacotta and fruit salad.
Then I felt sick :-/
Haven’t eaten anything sweet in so long, it is easy to avoid when you know how it makes you feel.
Made some scones to go with dinner.
I used spelt & rice flours with coconut oil and oat milk to mix.
Then sprinkled sesame & pumpkin seeds on top.
They look a bit more like slightly risen rock cakes so we shall see!

Cat and the French couple came down to say goodbye while I was having a long catch up with Jesika so Cat had a chat with her too.
Then it was hugs all round and they headed off to work for 10 days.

I went flat out and finished sorting through all the kids books.
The house must be groaning with relief at the weight I have removed from its piles.
I have taken 11 banana boxes off the shelves to sell and another 4 to give straight to Founders book fair, plus half our board games, all our cds and tapes.
Hows that for some extreme spring cleaning??
I still have some books left plus I have yet to go through the adult book shelves and the remaining home school books.
Better leave something to do over summer 😉

Seb, Phoebe & Sapphie arrived over mid arvo.
Phoebe went through some of the children’s books and took a big bag full.
Anson came in soon after and we had a good chat about some papers I needed him to look through.
He didn’t stay too long as he was pretty weary from the week away and all the traveling.
I cleared up soon after he left and we had dinner.
Don’t think Seb appreciated a dairy free meal 😉
But it was actually quite edible and tasty.
The scones went well with the humus.
Sapphie was rather tetchy and got worse as the day wore on, looks like more teeth are trying to surface as she was obviously in pain.
She is sporting 3 wee white teeth now.
After tea we loaded up all the stuff they were taking back and then they took their wee darling off home to hopefully sleep!
I carried on with cleaning up all the leftover food and getting the kitchen sorted.
Sent Mahalia off to get her bag packed.
Then Marah arrived.
She was tired, I was tired, so we both crashed out on the sofa and had a good old chinwag.
Loads to catch up on.
It was really good to have time to talk about everything.
We have been away and they have been away so haven’t really connected properly for ages.
She finally took off home around 9:30pm and I carried on packing my bags.
Hope to get away from here by 8am tomorrow as we have a busy day in front of us.

Saturday 18th October

I woke up somewhere in the far too early hours again this morning.
And in that waking I was reaching out and hoping to find the arms that I needed to have wrapped around me, the warm body to snuggle in close to.
Then I became cognizant that 20 months ago today was the last time he held me in the dawn, the last time I heard that early morning croaky voice, the last time he held me in the safety of our bed when the crazy busyness of life wasn’t interrupting our every sentence.
The last time when we shared our hearts.
People tell me that it will get better, the missing will get less.
For me the missing has become a resigned yearning.
But what really is the difference?
He is still absent from me, absent from our family, absent from our children.
We are all heartbroken, pining, missing him intensely.
Maybe we can talk about him more easily now, in that detached protective way you develop to cover the raw wound of grief, but I see the heartache in all my kids not in their words but in their faces and in their very core of being.
So don’t anyone try and tell me it gets better.
Over time we develop mechanisms to cope, busy lives to cover, and armour to deflect the arrows which open the wounds and allow our vulnerability to escape when we lest expect it.
The tears get bottled and put up on a shelf and you only allow the precious few to share them with you.
The missing DOES NOT get less.
We just grow bigger and stronger.

I decided, made the choice, to get up and spend my day being busy.
It was an easy decision this morning as I had a long list of things I wanted to accomplish.
So I was showered and dressed and in the kitchen long before the kids were up.
We are eeking out the last of our fresh fruit and veges – I under estimated how much we would need this week – but its all good, we won’t starve there’s back up food in the freezer and pantry.
I used our last leek and made a leek and tomato casserole for tonights dinner.
I cooked up a large meat dish of beef mince casserole with onions, tomatoes, celery leaves, and carrot for Sunday dinner.
Then I made two apple & apricot crumbles – one small for tonight and large one for Sunday when the others join us for dinner.
I cut up the remaining 3 potatoes and some kumara into chips and pre boiled them in preparation for roasting tonight.
I made a fruit smoothie for breakfast, pineapple, feijoa, banana & kale – the children were up by now and enjoyed it muchly.
Mahalia took hers and went up to ask Cat something – that took her nearly two hours!
Azzan washed the ranch slider windows for me, but when he had finished I was busy on the phone with a distraught friend and he took off up to see Cat too so I never saw him for the rest of the morning!
I had a list of things in my head needing to be done before we leave so I wrote them all down and when the kids appeared they got stuck in and crossed most of them off.
I sat in the sun on the deck for half an hour and chatted with Phillipa – nice to get some Vit D.

When the kids finally returned Azzan finished cleaning his room and put his packed bag into the car and then vacuumed the bedrooms.
Mahalia helped me make up the rest of the rice paper rolls for lunch.
Because I only had a certain amount of veges left I cut them up and we did a chain gang factory like production to ensure there was enough for all 7 rolls.
They were delicious.
We were only just finished when Sandra & Phil steamed into the bay.
Dishes were done and then all the rubbish removed and Cat assisted Azzan in the burning off it all.
There were several loud explosions which I know would’ve caused Azzan great delight.
Hence the reason me asking Cat to help him!!
Sandra came up and left Phil to potter on the boat so we could have some girl time which was really lovely.
I was so tired and ready to just sit for a while.
I made up a pot of Pina Colada herb tea – it was so good we topped up the pot again and drank it dry twice.
Maybe it was all the talking 😉
Sandra went through all the cds that I am throwing out and took a large bag home with her.
Nice to know she will be enjoying them.
Also one less bag of stuff for me to take to town 😉
While we talked we did our nails and had fun trying out various creams etc.
Mahalia was going to give us a manicure but Cat invited her and Azzan to go up the hill with her and have driving lessons.
That was a hard call for her, but we assured her that she could give us manicures another time and she happily headed off.
Our two allotted hours flew past and it was all too soon 4pm and Phil was coming up the path to retrieve his good woman.
And I really mean that – she is one good woman.
She has been a constant friend to me since I arrived here nearly 37 years ago.
We’ve been through a lot together and I so value your friendship my special next door friend xxx
We hugged goodbye till next time – and I hope it won’t be too long till then – and I watched them head off from the deck.
I put the chips in the oven to roast along with the leek casserole, mixed up some pannacotta to cool for dessert and then carried on with some sorting in the office.

The kids arrived back glowing with excitement.
Mahalia had driven the truck all the way up the hip and all the way back down again and Azzan had driven it right over tot he tailing yards.
They were buzzing 🙂
I said to Hali that if she can drive that thing then she will be able to drive anything!!

We were all hungry so I poached some eggs – thanks Phoebe for coming to our rescue!
Azzan went up and brought down a wheelbarrow of wood and Halia helped load it into the bin by the fire.
But in so doing she dropped a large piece on the side of her foot 😦
She was crying from the pain so the frozen peas were found and Azzan made her a bed on the sofa with pillows to elevate her foot.
Such a shame as she had been having a lovely day till then.

We crashed out on the sofa with her and ate dinner while watching The Big Bang Theory.
Azzan took off with Cat to go look for one of the dogs who has gone missing during their walk this arvo.
Finally we dragged ourselves off to my bedroom and Mahalia helped me go through my clothes, hanging up dresses while I put away everything else and decided what I needed to take to town for the next couple of months.
It’s a bit of a mission because it is Spring and the weather can be so fickle that you need to cover all bases and I am trying not to transport too much.
Got two phone calls at the same time so called Mahalia to phone Shoshannah back and I settled in for a good chat with Estelle.
Then Shoshannah called me back, and then I finished packing!
So it was close on 11pm before I was able to get into bed.
Long day, but productive.
As I said, keeping busy helps.