Monday 29th December

Pulled back the curtains this morning and saw it had rained reasonably heavily overnight.
It was still very wet, that helped me decide to stay in town another day.
I was not feeling at all up to facing the drive in so it was an easy call.
Sunni called up for a chat.
They were driving to a gypsy festival at Waihi Beach so we talked as they travelled.
It was after 8am by the time I was able to call up the garage to see if they could do a couple of jobs for me.
I raced through the shower and was out the door just on 9am.
Left the late night workers sleeping soundly.
On the way to Tahunanui I stopped in at the Tank Juice bar – I had seen that it was close on opening it’s new store here in Nelson so thought I really should go check it out.
So super cool – just love their smoothies and juices.
A wonderful addition to Nelson’s main street eateries 🙂
It was raining quite steadily so I was using my brolly a lot as I dashed in an out of the car.
I got to Muritai Motors – or as it is now called, Nelson Brake Services – it’s going to take a long while to get used to the new name and owners.
The new folk are lovely, very helpful and friendly.
I was laughing so hard when I took the guy out to see the tyre Anson wanted me to get fixed replaced.
I reckon it is a bit past mending 🙂
Must be the best blow out I have ever seen, and he agreed!
I waited for half an hour for them to fix my lights and then I was all good to go.
Figured while I had time  over that side of town I would cruise into Lighting Direct and check out lights for the house.
I found a few options and got some print outs to take back and check out the possibilities.
Then came back into the city and stopped in at Lighting Plus to see what they had in stock.
Didn’t find anything really appropriate but did see some more interesting uplights than at the previous shop.
Decided I needed help choosing lights for the lounge so sent these photos to Sunni & Shanni for their input 😉
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Shanni thought the red one would suit but Sunni questioned whether they might be more fitting in an opera house 🙂 🙂 🙂
I think even if I did have a spare $5000 to spend I sure would be buying anything as pretentious as these!!
I spose in the right place they would look okay, but really……….

I met up with Marah & Eden at The Warehouse and pushed Eden around while Marah shopped.
Then we zipped back here to the house as Eden was way over shopping.
My jacaranda tree is beginning to flower, zapped this photo of the pretty purple north side as I came around the corner.
Left Eden here with Shoshannah while Marah went to get her groceries.
Eden was way happier to be spending time helping Aunty Shanni clean her room and make food.
Of course nail painting was a must do option – after all it is a week since she had them done so they needed a top up 😉
She is so girly – loves the pretty things.
I was about to leave when Marah returned.
Eden was just enjoying some of Shanni’s smoothie when I left.IMG_1652IMG_1654
The princess and the pumpkin – complete with a smoothie moustache 🙂IMG_1655
I hopped back into town to have lunch with Phillipa at Colombo Cafe.
Jesika was up early and had time free before beginning her shift so we chatted while I was waiting for Phillipa to finish work.
Haven’t caught up with Phillipa for past week or more, so it was good to chat a while.
But after an hour I had to race back to move the car.
Called in to see Bedelia then I went back to Lighting Plus to get the uplight I had liked.
I spotted this light which I thought might appeal to Azzan but the price tag was over $600 and even with the 33% reduction was quite a lot more than I was prepared to invest in his bedroom redecoration!!
I then drove back to Lighting Direct but this time the traffic around Rocks Road was piled up bumper to bumper with holiday makers heading to the beach, so I crawled in the queue, mentally making a note that in future I would take a different route!
Picked up the lights for the lounge that I had decided on and got some more ideas for Azzan’s room and the sunroom.
Then back home, a quicker drive back as the traffic was coming to the beach not away from it thankfully.
I began putting the uplight together and thankfully Martin & Sylvia arrived at the right time.
Martin helped me figure out the intricacies of it all as we did battle with teeny tiny screws etc.
Finally we had it all together and in place in the lounge.
love it!
The lounge lights are stashed in the corner until I can get a electrician to come after the silly season is over.
Whew! That job accomplished we were then able to relax and recline on my wonderful orange sofas and enjoy a cuppa and chat for a while.
The day was so hot and muggy it was lovely to be able to rest in the cool.
Nathan was on his day off and had mowed my lawn and then gone into town to get a haircut.
He returned and joined the party for a while.
Shoshannah headed off to work her shift.
Its a bit like Grand Central Station here at times 🙂
They headed off after gathering up all Martin’s tools he had lent me.
They have been incredibly helpful but their job here is now pretty much done.
Nathan & I decided to go try East Street Cafe for dinner.
We had heard very good reports about it.
It is a funky wee restaurant underneath Accents on the Park backpackers.
We were not disappointed.
Nathan was greeted by Christina who he knew from his NMIT training days 3 years ago.
She is now working here.
We seated at a small quiet table at the back.
Our menus came enclosed in old record covers.
The choice proved to be somewhat difficult to make as they all looked delicious.
We decided to begin with the Homemade chunky chips served with sweet chilli lime sour cream dip.
It was SO good.
Nathan ordered the MVP Burger and I got the Kiss A Deer 🙂
Absolutely delicious meals.
I checked out the lunch menu before leaving as they now open at 12 for lunch until 4 and then start serving dinners.
We will most definitely be returning, the menu has so many delicious choices.
We walked back to the car and as we were about to climb in a passing car pulled over, it was Tommy & Kate.
We chatted for a while and then invited them back.
So they came for a late night visit.
Kate is learning all about Nelson impromptu hospitality 🙂
I showed them around and we talked a while before they headed off home.
A very pleasant end to the day.


Sunday 28th December

I was woken around 5am by footsteps – Nathan just coming home from work!
Thankfully Shanni had gotten in around midnightish.
We both went back to bed.
Him to sleep and me to catch up on some blogging.
I had a quiet morning, pottered around after my shower.
Did some cleaning up.
Shanni was up mid morning, not feeling too flash.
Too tired I think.
Nathan staggered out around midday.
Both of them organised their food for the day.
Anson called in on his way home to drop off a tyre for me to get replaced for him tomorrow.
Alan & Jo arrived with Asher.
He was immediately given to me so they could get stuff from their car but Shanni wanted him so she got to have a lovely long cuddle.
Isn’t he just the cutest wee man.
He is 8 weeks old and is still smaller than Sapphie was when she was born!
It was lovely to catch up with them.
We had a lovely visit – so nice that my proposed shopping trip went out the window.
Nothing urgent so alls good 🙂
When they left Shoshannah woke up – she’d had a good hour and a halts sleep which was great.
She had dinner and then I dropped her off at work.
Caught up with Croisella momentarily as she was walking by which was a bonus 🙂
Picked up some takeout nachos from Chilandos and then went to visit Estelle.
Chilled out with her for the evening.
It was good, I needed to be with a friend tonight.
Had a really emotional time, lots of talk and tears.
Ended up stopping outside Hangar 58 on the way home to see if Shanni was ready for a ride home and bawling my eyes out on Nathan’s shoulder.
I really miss Tim’s broad shoulders, and his long arms that enveloped me entirely and protected me from all the hurt.
Came home and went straight to bed.
Had a good chat with Hamish & Angela & Jesika for a while via several forms of internet messaging.
Now it is time to snuggle down and hopefully sleep.

Saturday 27th December

Shoshannah & I were all ready to leave around 9am.
Anson & Marah were still packing when we went past.
We took Azzan up to the top of the hill.
There wasn’t a lot of spare space for him so he flattened Shanni’s knees 😉
Shoshannah wanted to take photos at the top so we stopped for that and then Azzan zipped off around the road to Waterfall Bay.
He was on a mission to help Phoebe and Seb.
He commented to me the other day that he is really enjoying doing stuff with Seb, Anson, Graham & Uncle Martin and that it is a shame now he is leaving that he is wanting to do things with them all.
I assured him that he can still do those things, and it’s probably because he is growing up and needing some man time, and without his Dad here he needs his bros and uncles to fill the gap 🙂
Anson came through the gate just after us.
We had a fairly uneventful trip out.
Met up with Michael in his huge grader at Waitata turnoff – thankfully in a place were we could pass easily.
He pulled over and waited for Anson to come by.
We passed more traffic as we got further out.
The sea fog was still embracing the hills around Okuri, but didn’t obscure our views at all.
We decided to detour to Rai Valley and have a once in a blue moon pie.
Pulled in behind Anson who had passed us at Okiwi Bay and was fuelling up his belly too.
Eating that meat pie was enough to know why I don’t eat pies anymore.
It made me feel so disgusting.
I could almost feel the fat gelling in my arteries – yuck  😦
We headed straight over the hills to Nelson.
Dropped off the bumpers & windscreen at Carl’s and then back home to unload the car.
Nathan was up and cooking a feed so he stopped to help me.
I needed his muscle to carry the boxes!
The three of us soon had the car empty and the boxes distributed in the right rooms.
He went to work soon afterwards.
Shanni had lunch and then went off to bed for a sleep.
Marah & Eden arrived so they occupied my time for an hour or two.
It didn’t take long for her to get me to turn on the sprinkler and she was soon starkers running about playing chasing with the water 🙂
Shanni’s pumpkins are growing like crazy!

Anson arrived and started demolishing the fence for me.
We have nearly gotten all the old fencing decking gone now.
So good.
Then he loaded up all the decking and posts.
It was a bit of an act as some of it was rather unyieldingly heavy.
Shanni was up and getting ready for work so she helped lift too.
There were a few nerve racking moments when the decking got a bit too close to the windows, but the only damage was a dent on the top of one of the air conditioning units and my gate was temporarily removed from its railings when the trailer caught on it as Anson was navigating to come into the yard.
It makes the place look so open and I am tossing more new landscaping ideas around in my head.
This is what it looks like now – wonderfully open,
Lending itself to so many plans and schemes 🙂

The jacaranda is beginning to flower, so far only on the northern end of the tree.

Marah took Eden and went to get groceries and Shanni left for work.
I helped Anson load up the last of the posts and then he followed after Marah.
They were going to be spending the first night in their new home – most exciting 🙂
I locked up the house and went off to visit Estelle.
She had rellies visiting but soon after I arrived the wee fella was stung by a wasp so they headed off to the pharmacy to get some stuff for him.
Someone had dropped off a quiche so I heated up some for our dinner and made a salad while Estelle went for a wander outside to check on her chooks.
Then we enjoyed a delicious dinner together.
Afterwards I managed to convince her to hop back into her bed and I made a cuppa which we had with some Christmas cake.
I lay back in the lazy boy and we talked and I nearly went to sleep at one point.
Gary popped in, phone rang a few times, but it was nice to just sit and catch up with my friend.
Finally left around 9 and called into get groceries on the way home.
I was starving again so made myself a fresh fruit salad with muesli & coconut yoghurt and took it off to bed with me.

Friday 26th December – part 2

I had planned to have a birthday dinner for Cat & Leeann because they had been away during their birthdays last week, plus Sapphie’s birthday was approaching fast and we probably wouldn’t be here for it.
Shoshannah thought it would be nice to have everyone around while we were all there so we asked the boys & families too.
Shanni started making dinner for an unknown number at that point.
Figured leftovers always get used 😉
I carried on packing up the car.
Had got most of the heavy boxes in already so was filling in the gaps with clothing and other random shaped things.
Leeann came down for a visit and chatted with Shanni for a while.
They had visitors coming so wouldn’t be coming to dinner so I gave her our b’day present.
She helped me finish packing the car and we chatted for a while.
Then Seb arrived and managed to squeeze in some car bumpers and windscreen in on top of everything.
I have a huge pile of blankets and linen so used some of the stuff Marah is taking to pack picture frames & the windscreen in.
We really were full to the top then!
Sapphie was swooped up by Aunty Shanni – gotta make the most of cuddles when you don’t see her very often 🙂
The many and varied faces of Sapphire 🙂

Anson had been busy packing up another load of gear on the trailer.
Graham was welding up ours but it is in serious need of repair and replacement so he lent Anson his one for this trip.
Eden hadn’t slept all day so Anson went home earlier to try and get her down and let Marah have a rest too.
Thankfully it worked and they were all able to come join us.
We had a delicious dinner.
Shanni had made a large aubergine casserole/stack dish – it was SO good.
We had it with Azzan’s roast slater potatoes and a salad.
Fried up some sausages for the carnivores 😉
I had some parcels wrapped up for Sapphie.
Funny thing was that I wrapped them up so long ago I had forgotten what was in them!
So she and I both got surprises when I helped her open them 😉
A doll – and from what Azzan told me it is her very first doll, and a set of Peter Rabbit story books and a cute picture frame where what was inside them all.
Eden was so good and didn’t pester to have any parcels.
But later she decided she needed to eat her way into one of the boxes 🙂
Selfies with Uncle Zani and photo bombing by Phoebe
The parents took the wee darlings home after a lovely evening together.
The kids were all tired so retired to their beds.
I washed up the dishes and got the kitchen looking somewhat more respectable and then headed off to my bed.
Azzan came and found me.
He was armed with lavender body cream and gave me a wonderful relaxing back, leg & feet massage.
I slept so wonderfully after that.
Thanks Zani xxxxx

Friday 26th December – part 1

I was up early and ready to head up the hill but the girls slept on.
It looked like it was going to be a beautiful day.
I finally woke them around 8am.
Shanni staggered out fairly promptly but Mahalia took a lot longer, takes a while to look gorgeous you know 😉
By the time we left it was looking all misty again but we decided to go for it.
Parked up at the top and donned our jackets and started walking.
The mist had enveloped the tops and was wisping around the bays.
It was cool, perfect for walking, and rather ethereal.
Looking down towards the grave sites.
Couldn’t see a thing, Mahalia was down there somewhere!
We spent some time with Timmy.
For a while we were just quietly lost in our own private thoughts, tears and rememberings.
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I love how in the quiet places, even when we are the most sorrowful, our eyes are drawn to the small beauties of God’s creation.
Just reminding us that he is in this valley with us.
Mahalia discovered macro on her camera 🙂
No stopping her now!
The girls were busy taking photos and decided to walk home so I left them to it.
I started walking back to the car.
Couldn’t help think I was going on a bear hunt!
Long wet wavy grass. Can’t go over it. Can’t go under it. Oh no! Have to go through it – swishy swashy, swishy swashy – and all the grass seeds stuck to my legs and were spread far and wide!
Most of the mist had gone by this time, just a bit being blown over the ridges at a rate of knots by the wind.
I was very glad of my jacket as the chilly wind was buffeting me about.
Looking towards the Rangitoto Islands at the top eastern side of D’Urville Island.
Thinking especially of our old friend Ross up in Auckland who spent so much of his life on Puangiangi Island in the centre of this group.
The clouds over The Chetwode Islands made them look almost volcanic.
I got home before the girls.
Had a bit of a sit down and then began packing up more stuff.

Thursday 25th December

Woke at 5am, pulled open the curtains to enjoy the view later and then went back to sleep for a couple more hours.
While I slept Azzan got up and showered and was all ready for Seb to collect him at 7am.
He wanted to go over the hill with Seb, Phoebe & Sapphie to see all the wee cousins opening their presents.
He brought me in a huge grapefruit he had found on the tree yesterday.
Then Shoshannah followed with a delicious version of eggs benedict.
It was all a bit too early and a bit much for my digestive system though.
I managed to eat half of the eggs and Shanni cleaned up the rest.

Seb arrived to pick up Azzan and stopped in for a quick chat.
I showered and got ready to head up the hill.
The girls and I had planned to go see Tim.
That is all I really wanted to do today.
But before we left the mist came in, we decided to risk it and headed up the road.
Met Anson running his dogs and while we talked the misty fog whisped its way further and further down the hill, twirling through the trees until the top of the hill and ridges were completely whitened out.
So sadly we had to can that idea 😦
Instead we stopped off to visit Eden & Marah.
Eden was running around in her new fairy outfit and was most happy to see her two aunties.
So was her mother – gave her some reprieve!

We stayed and chatted for a while then I brought Shoshannah home to prepare some food and Mahalia stayed to babysit Eden while Marah got herself ready.
Everyone was invited over the hill to Wenbornville, but I opted out.
I was struggling all morning with tears that were welling up all the time.
I just don’t want to be around anyone else while my emotions are running haywire and I cant stop crying.
Anson came by to do his washing and pick up Shanni and her fruit salad.
I was out on the deck and heard a commotion in the bushes.
A large keruru (native wood pigeon) had landed in the trees.
Then it flew out onto a karaka and was soon joined by another and then another.
They were having a right old scoff session of the karaka berries.
Its a wonder they can fly at this time of year when they are gorging themselves and piling on so much weight!
It was really cool to watch them.

I got the fire going and started sorting some things.
There is so much stuff here to go through, the kids have started getting stuff down from shelves and piling it into the living room, so the place just feels like a tip.
I hate it.
I cant stand mess and this is doing my head in.
I pulled an antique set of drawers to pieces and got it ready for transporting to town.
Began packing up my art books, of which there are way more than I realise – oh dear!
I am finding it hard to get any order into my packing, as I drift from one room to the next, trying to work out what I want to take etc.
And then sorting where the stuff I don’t want is going to go – and all of that just makes me want to crawl into bed and forget it all :-/
I baked myself a potato and had it with salad for a late lunch.
Hopped into my bed and watched a few episodes of ‘As Time Goes By’.
Its a great series with Judi Dench and Geoffrey Rush.
Dozed a bit too.
Got up later and did some more packing, started loading boxes into the car.
I used my old baby buggy to transport them so I didn’t have to put too much strain on my back.
At one point I came out and found the blasted pig had gotten into the rubbish bin and spread the contents all around the washhouse.
I scared it away and cleaned it up, all the while muttering derogatory comments at it – grrrr!
Put some more potatoes in the wood stove to bake for dinner.
Got the washing through the machine and dryer.
Packed up a lot of the dvds and packed them into the car too.
The girls arrived home but were not hungry.
Mahalia was feeling ill from eating to much food, especially food she is not used to eating now.
After a while I made a salad and she decided to have some too.
I was feeling a lot better for having a rest and being alone.
Anson appeared at the door with blood covered arms.
The pig is now no more!
It got involved in an altercation with his dogs while he was running them.
He was about to try and save the pig but Marah came down with a knife so he assisted in its demise.
I cannot say that I am sorry 😉

I watched ‘Dead Poets Society’, Shanni came and joined me for the last part of it.
Yet another brilliant movie starring Robin Williams.
Azzan went home with Seb & Phoebe so will see him tomorrow.

Wednesday 24th December

I slept through till 7:30am again.
Pulled the curtains back to another glorious day so went through the house opening windows and doors to allow the sunshine and fresh air to drift in and through.
Shanni got up and we both showered and had breakfast.
I was tired and in no hurry to face the road so was taking my time.

Nathan appeared just as we were about to leave.
Also had several phone calls come in and to make which held us up even more.
Finally left the house and went into town to fuel up, zipped over to Countdown to pick up a couple of things and around the corner to find something else.
Then just before 11:30am we were away!
Chatted with Sunni on loudspeaker for a few minutes before we lost reception.
Then over the hills we went.
Shanni has been asking and asking me to let her drive as she is getting frustrated at not getting any driving practise.
I have never been able to cope with the stress of learner drivers so have always left that job to Tim.
I have paid for her to have driving lessons over the past few months to help her along a bit but she does need extra practise.
She was hassling me about it today so I pulled over half way up the Ronga Valley and let her take the wheel on the proviso that if I couldn’t cope then she would let me back in the drivers seat with no hard feelings.
She drove cautiously and reasonably well and after a while commented that I would make a good driving instructor.
I think not :-/
I let her carry on up the Ronga Hill to the top, she did give me and another driver a bit of a scare on one corner – whew!
By the time we got up to the top we were driving along the outside of the road and I was losing my confidence fast so she graciously let me drive from the gravel pit.
We detoured down to Te Towaka to visit Liz & Harry.
They had most of their family home so it was lovely to catch up with them all and meet the 4 wee grandkids.
There was much clucking going on, as they were enjoying the babies 🙂
We spent a lovely hour there but needed to get on the road so said our farewells and carried on towards home.
We finally reached Tim’s cairn and stopped to pause and reflect for a wee while.
This is where his spirit left this earth.
It always brings tears.
Tears of many sorts as we remember our special man.

We arrived back to find everyone was down at the beach so Shanni quickly helped me unload the car and she took off down for a swim.
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I unpacked all the fruits and vegetables and got them into the fridge.
I was overwhelmed by everything and fell onto my bed in tears.
I couldn’t explain what was going on, just needed to cry.
Eden came in fresh from her swim.
She was so funny, as soon as she saw me she was spreading out her fingers and checking the nail polish and pointing her feet towards me.
Then she came right up in her wet swimsuit and snuggled in beside me.
Marah came and took her home to dry off and get some dinner.
The girls disappeared off to the beach for a photo shoot.
Azzan was busy collecting cat’s eyes from the shell fish on the beach.
He was most delighted with his collection of 52 thus far.
He wants to take them to town as a wee memento of here.
Graham had been out fishing with his family and called in for a catch up before heading back up the hill.
The girls made dinner and then huddled over Shanni’s laptop checking out the photos they had just taken.
Azzan was being ‘difficult’ – as in, not wanting to eat or join in with us.
I had a cuddle and chat with him on my bed and managed to suss out that when it was just he and Halia here he is fine, but when Shoshannah joins in the mix he feels ousted as the girls switch into girlie mode.
Plus it’s the old ‘twos company, three’s a crowd’ thing going on.
But he hasn’t/doesn’t know how to voice his feelings so has been just packing a wobbly.
Now I have got to the bottom of this one and talked with the girls we might be able to manage things better in future.
We have so much food in the freezer so Mahalia has been eating their way through it which is good.
So tonight we had a mince lasagne sauce that I had made ages ago, with salad and Doritos.
It was very tasty.
Shoshannah made custard and fruit for dessert.
We watched a movie called ‘Your Love Never Fails’.
It was good, except Mahalia didn’t like the background country music!
I tidied up the kitchen and then fell into bed.