Thursday 30th April

I was having a lovely late lounge in my bed this morning when I got the cutest wee visitor.
She bounced her way up on to my pillows and entertained me for a wee while.
Seb had gone out early.
Shoshannah was picked up by her Gateway builder around 8am, and Mahalia left at 8:30am.
It was just me, Azzan, Phoebe & Sappie here.
And of course Nathan & Mira, but they do their thing most of the time.
I had the brilliant idea of taking Caspian & Sapphie for a walk and finding a cafe along the way.
Phoebe thought that was a great idea so we all quickly got ourselves up and presentable.
Left the place in a whirl, who cares about house work on such a gorgeous morning 🙂
We walked along Grove Street and over the Collingwood St Bridge.
Caspian was sniffing and exploring all the way.
He loves getting out and about now he’s all healed up.
We passed an auction house and the open doors got the better of Phoebe, so we detoured inside for a browse.
Azzan was extremely patient with us both as we bantered with the salesman.
We had him tied up in knots as we discussed and deliberated over several items which caught our eyes.
Both Phoebe and I made a purchase each and left them there to pick up later.
We were most excited about our finds.
we arrived at Devilles cafe.
I had already researched online that it was acceptable to take Caspian there.
We found a table in the sun so we could soak up as much Vitamin D as possible.
There was a divine selection of foods along the counter so we put in our order and were then entertained by a little bundle of sweetness while we waited for the food to arrive.
I was cracking up when I saw her doing this.
She is such an imitator – ‘just taking a selfie on your phone Mum’
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And I sure know Im cute 🙂
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Under the table was a great place to play.
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The food and drinks arrived and were absolutely delicious.
Phoebe and I couldn’t decide what to have so we both ordered two things.
After all we did have Sapphire to help us eat it all 😉
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I can thoroughly recommend the strawberry & apple tart and Phoebe said the rhubarb cake was wonderful.
She also had the savoury muffin and I had a cheese scone served with rhubarb jam.
So good 🙂
Azzan settled for the pizza – said it was fantastic!
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He opted to have a smoothie for his seconds.
After we had enjoyed the sunshine and the food we toddled off back down the street to the auction house as we had talked over the idea of a funky bed there and that it would scrub up well for Sapphie who has nearly grown out of her cot.
While Phoebe got that purchase sorted I couldn’t help but take a photo of my purchase.
I am just so incurably rapt to find this wonderful antique mirror just casually leaning against the wall amongst all the other junky bits.
I have been searching for THE mirror for above the fire in the lounge.
I didn’t know exactly what I wanted, but knew that I would know when I saw it.
Well today I saw it.
Fell totally head over heels in love with it and absolutely had to have it.
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We walked back home and met Seb who had also just arrived.
After a break and catch up we all drove back to the shop to pick up our scores!
While Seb dismantled the bed I made another purchase.
I had been checking out an antique weighted chandelier this morning but thought nah, I’ll leave it.
But on the 2nd look and then the 3rd, and discussing how wonderful it was with Phoebe, I decided I really did like it, actually I loved it and it was perfect for my bedroom.
It will look a thousand times better in there that the stupid little blue halogen spotlights.
So after Seb had finished loading up the bed onto his truck, Paul & I carefully loaded the mirror into the back on my car and balanced the box with the chandelier on Azzan’s knee.
Then we all drove slowly back home to unload.
See left all the bed bits on my decking until his next trip out.
Mira, Azzan & I managed to carefully manoeuvre the mirror into the lounge and it now awaits someone to come hang it for me.
I was so excited about my finds, the excitement practically wore me out 😉

Seb & Phoebe left to go do the rest of their days chores, the bed purchase had held the proceedings up somewhat.
I spent the rest of the afternoon at the table catching up on mail.
Caspian was out most of the afternoon just playing in the yard.
Everyone arrived home from school & work.
I had a very late lunch so making dinner was also late.
I was feeling really headache and sick so didn’t want to cook.
Ended making a coconut cream cauliflower dish  with boiled potatoes & carrots. The boys ate it with fish fingers.
Shanni has been dehydrating food for her Outdoor Ed camp this weekend, so she got them all packed up along with all her other gear.
In between doing the mail and emailing change of address requests I watched a few more episodes of Campbell Live’s documentaries about Gloriavale.
It is really good that the ones managing to leave are getting so much support to establish life outside the cult.
It is no easy feat to start life from scratch with nothing and to know nothing of how the outside world works.
Especially if you are a parent supporting 10-12 children.
Nathan cut up a large lump of venison and added it to the left over mutton gravy.
I added more vegetables and left it cooking over night in the slow cooker.
Good to have tomorrow’s dinner sorted for the carnivores 🙂

Wednesday 29th April

I had a 8:30am physio session to get to so I was up and out the door bright and early today.
Mahalia was not too far behind me, but she had time to deal with Caspian first.
The morning was quite cool, definitely very autumn-ish.
Had a good session, my back from head to hip is still very stiff and majorly sore in several places.
Susie is really good, gentle yet thorough and gets right on the spot with her manipulations and massage.
Mike called me up just before I went in so we arranged to meet for coffee straight after.
I followed him into The Baker’s – good timing 🙂
Had a great catch up, he’s been away in Australia for many months so lots to talk about.
It is so cool to hear about our young friends doing well and making their way in the world.
We eventually moved to an outside table as it was quieter, the cafe had filled up with the morning tea crowd.
Finally had to make a move before my parking ran out, so I zipped straight back home and Mike came round soon after to see my humble abode.
Nathan & Mira had gone so it was just Caspian to greet me when I got back.
I let him out for a run around while I did some tidying up in the back yard.
He went absolutely mental when Mike arrived.
He just loves attention and races around the lawn like a mad thing, bouncing up to say hullo and then tearing off again.
Picks up a tennis ball, races over to you but as soon as you go to take it to throw he takes off again.
Great energy release 🙂
Nathan & Mira arrived back, we talked some more until Mike had to finally head off.
Nathan made wraps for lunch.
I took mine and had a bit of a rest – feeling rather weary and in need of some sunshine which pours into my bedroom now.
Nice thing about the winter, the sun is moving from the back of the house to the front.

I’ve been wanting to go over and meet our neighbour properly.
I’ve had quite a few conversations over the fence with Bill while he has been painting their house, but only briefly met Ursula through the front fence once.
So this arvo I walked round to return a tin Mahalia had borrowed on Saturday and had a lovely time with her.
She showed me through their house.
It has been their family home for 38 years so it was really interesting to hear her take on the various people who have owned my house.
It is much larger and slightly older than ours.
Very interesting to see the progression of house styles in this area.
Theirs is a late 1920’s whereas ours was built in 1930.
Not a huge difference in timeframe but considerable differences in style and size.
The ceilings are high in my house but they are way way higher in theirs!
Similarities in wooden features but some fascinating antique light switches in theirs.
Obviously built with some grandeur of the times, she thought by a doctor with some really interesting built in architecture but crazy shaped and sized rooms.
So cool and funky.
Someone could have a ball with renovating in the future if they had plenty of money to throw at it!
But no doubt it will probably fall to property developers who can only see the $$ in the land area :-/
It is such a shame that previous owners of my place have barricaded the property to such an extent that communications can’t easily occur across the fence.
Might have to review that situation 😉
I’m so glad that my house has been so tastefully renovated over the years, it is very liveable for us without me having to do very much at all.
It was a lovely sunny afternoon so we stood chatting at the front gate for a wee while before I returned home.
Found Seb, Phoebe & Sapphie about to leave!
I’d asked Nathan to call me if any phone calls came through but he hadn’t thought to let me know they had arrived, because – ‘I had only asked him to let me know if an important call came through’!!!
They had dropped off some smoked kahawai so we had decided on an easy dinner of potatoes, fish and salad along with the mutton chops in the slow cooker.
Azzan was delighted with his typewriter, the ribbon is quite worn so just have to wait for the new one to arrive and then he will be up and running.
It has a beautiful font so I suggested I might borrow it sometimes to make verses for my art work when I eventually get back to it again.
He was in a very huggy mood so I got lots of long tight hugs throughout the rest of the day 🙂

I was having a frustrating time getting my updated version of iPhotos to sync with my iPhone so spent quite a long time working with Ross over the internet getting it sussed.
Its really spooky how with just a push of a button and an acceptance from me that he can see & operate my desktop!
By the time I had it sorted Seb & Phoebe had arrived back.
It was Phoebe’s birthday so lovely to be able to sit around the table tonight and share a meal with her.
Mahalia bailed out onto the lounge floor so they could have her room.
She had been to rowing tonight, discovered that wind makes it much harder, but is absolutely loving the sport so far.
She was tired from her long day so wanted to head off to bed.
Phoebe & I talked longer after everyone had retired, until I got a text from Mahalia asking if we could also please go to bed so she could sleep.
So we did 🙂

Tuesday 28th April

I have written the beginning lines to this post half a dozen times and then erased them.
This morning in this house was very strained in several quarters.
I was still feeling extremely vulnerable and fragile from the trip back home.
I have also been getting quite frustrated about the lack of ability from various members of the household in their abilities in keeping my house and their home clean, tidy & uncluttered.
Personally I enjoy having my family and friends come and go.
But I cannot handle mess and clutter.
Part of my PTSD is an OCD in this area.
Some major things that happened to me as a child took control away from me in my formative years and so over time I have developed a need to control the environment around me and if my environment is cluttered, messy and out of control I lose the plot and I cannot function.
On top of this there has been something going down with one member which has been straining relationships and this morning I let that person know that I was not impressed with the behaviour.
Nathan was up and about and asked what he could do to help around the place as it was his day off.
I really appreciated his query but was not in a great place emotionally and could feel tears trying to escape.
So I removed myself from the situation and took Caspian for a walk.
We walked to the vet and they got him fitted with a No-tug harness that our dog trainer had recommended.
He was so funny there.
He just went manic psycho, lapping up the attention the nurses were giving him.
We walked back along the river.
It was a lovely morning after several stormy wet days.
Shoshannah was till home when I got back.
I didn’t realise she was on a late start today.
Mahalia had already walked to NMIT and then after school was off to Kip McGrath for a double set of lessons.
I had no one to account to or for, so after getting Caspian sorted with Nathan & Mira I left for my 10am appointment with Hitomi.
My hair was an absolute mess and knowing I had the fundraising event tonight I had booked a haircut.
She is more than a hairdresser, she is a friend.
And I am sure she sensed that I was not in a good place.
She gave me such a good long scalp massage and then afterwards we were talking about some other stuff and love languages came up.
She said, ‘What is your love language? Is it touch?’
And at that question the tears burst forth and I cried & cried and she hugged me tight.
The dam needed to break and she gave me the permission & privacy for it to happen.
The one thing I so miss is Tim’s hugs, his touch, his hands.
He was so big on his hugs and cuddles.
I know that is one thing the kids all miss too.
He was such a loving tactile man.
After I lost him I would cry through massages because I was just craving his touch so much.
It is over 2 years since he last held me and all I want is to have him hold me again.
Thank you Hitomi for being there and for being my friend when I needed you.

After I got back home Gay arrived with her daughter Amber.
We had a wander around and reclined a while in the sunroom chairs.
Then decided to go to The Baker’s Cafe for a coffee.
It was lovely to spend time with them both, we talked the hour away and then I moved the car and we walked the streets checking out some of the funkier shops searching for the elusive something that might just fit in our new homes 🙂
I was delighted to find a portable typewriter in Eclectic.
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While we waited for our smoothies at Tank Juice Bar I did some online research via my iPhone and found a supplier in Auckland .
I called him up and had a chat about the typewriter, and yes, he did have new ribbons for it and when he heard how much it was he said for me to snap it up as it was a real bargain.
According to him they sell for five times the price I was paying up there!
So I bade the ladies farewell and I headed back and bought the Hermes Baby.
Here is a great blog post about it – seems I have found a wee  cracker!
I was so excited because I just knew Azzan would love it.

Back home again to chill for a wee while and then get ready for the evening out.
Nathan & Mira were transferring the last loads of gear from her parents house into my garage.
It is now bursting at the seams!
I think a garage sale is definitely required very soon so I can reclaim my garage.
You can’t swing a mouse in there at present!

Mahalia went on to her Kip McGrath lessons after school.
Nathan took Mira to work and then picked up Mahalia and delivered her to The Boathouse around 6:30pm.
I got myself to The Boathouse at 5:30pm.
Liz and crew were busy setting up so I pitched in and helped where I could.
i had not been there before, it is a great venue extending over the water.
It was a rather cool evening with a very fresh tide lapping loudly around the piles.
It lent a very authentic island atmosphere to our fund raising evening – the Ni-Van Ni’s Up.
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The silent auction corner – loads of wonderful things to bid for during the evening.
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All ready for the guests to arrive.
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Eric, head down amongst the foliage getting the slide show ready.
It played almost constantly throughout the whole evening, showing wonderful photos of before and after Cyclone Pam.IMG_5182  
The Ni-Van guys arrived and were ready to begin their singing soon after 6:30pm.
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The ladies in the kitchen were very busy preparing wonderfully delicious canapés.
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Rifkin was hauled into make the coconut milk.
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The delicious platters all ready for us to hand round the guests throughout the evening.
The were mouthwatering – it was great to have an opportunity later in the evening after most of the guests appetites had been met, to try some of them.
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The guys singing in the early part of the evening.
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The main auction was for return flights from NZ to Port Vila and a holiday etc in Santo.
A wonderful prize to bid on.
I was very tempted to put my hand up a few times 🙂
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And of course there had to be kava.
Expertly made (and of course sampled by Rifkin & Eric) and served in exchange for a gold coin.
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Never served in shot glasses in the islands 🙂
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A hazy no flash photo of Anne, Rifkin, his fiancé Lauren, and myself
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Mahalia & Rifkin – after she had skulled back a glass of kava.
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It was a school night so soon after 9pm Mahalia’s energy levels flagged so we gathered up our bags and farewelled the party.
It was still in full swing with some wonderful musicians drawing dancers onto the floor.
It was a wonderful evening.
A great turn out to support a fantastic cause.
Somewhere in the vicinity of $18,000 raised for Butterfly Trust to supply medical and educational help to the Outer Islands of Vanuatu who have suffered so much loss after Cyclone Pam.
Thank you so much to everyone who helped make this evening such a roaring success 🙂

Monday 27th April

Well the rain really finally did arrive today.
I woke to an extremely wild wet morning.
It pelted down most of the day.
I finally got myself out of bed around 9am, tried to convince Mahalia to take the pup out for his morning constitution but I gave in and took him out clad in my dressing gown and umbrella.
It was rubbish day today despite it being a public holiday so I gathered up the last of the rubbish.
Mahalia pushed the bin out the gate while I had my shower.
I was trying to make a smoothie for breakfast, manoeuvring around Nathan making porridge at the same time, when Libby & Frances arrived for morning tea.
Nathan had to brave the elements and got to work today.
I was pleased not to have to go anywhere 🙂
It was Libby’s bday so doubley nice to see them both and get to share an hour of her special day.
Mahalia gave them the grand tour while I made coffee.
Lovely to chat a while but they soon had to make a move as Libby was on borrowed time before heading back up north this arvo to her dearly beloved 🙂
I was really weary, battling a headache which seemed to be stemming from my neck, so I took some Panadine, got the washing through the machine and into the dryer and then crashed out on my bed for a while.
Luke brought Shanni back home so she had all her tramping gear to sort out.
The rain eased enough for us to unload the Nissan so Luke, Mahalia & Mira carried boxes in and deposited them in various rooms ready for me to unpack and allocate.
Then Luke & Mahalia unloaded my old treadle Singer sewing machine which is now in pride of place in our entrance way.
David came in the afternoon and installed my lounge lights.
They make such a huge improvement on the stupid wee modern spotlights that were there.
They were so out of place in this vintage house.
They have a dimmer switch so here they are in full glory.
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And with the dimmer on.
Still plenty bright enough – we may shorten the cords as I am not sure if I want them hanging quite so low, but that is something we can decide on at a later date.
For now, they are up and working and I am very grateful to David for consuming his precious free arvo helping me out.
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Now I just need to find some appropriate lights for the bedrooms.

Mahalia had rowing at 4pm so asked if I could take her as it was raining again.
I capitulated this time, but suggested that for future sessions she has a bike and a raincoat 😉
I had not been feeling well all day so hadn’t eaten much but was quite hungry by this time so I popped into Chilandos and got a couple of tostadas to fill the gap.
Then went to visit Gay.
She was sleeping so I chatted with her daughter Amber who was visiting for the weekend.
Lovely to finally meet her.
I was about to leave when Gay woke up so we talked some more.
I am so pleased that she is happy in her new house.
It was one of the houses we looked at and was a consideration for us, so it is great to know she is content there.
It is a delightful setting on the banks of the river, which was quite swollen today.
I was late getting back to the rowing club and it was all locked up.
Mahalia had text me to say she was walking home but I didn’t get it till much later :-/
I picked her up once I had located her.
Home to a warm house with the fire going.
I made a wrap and went off to bed and live streamed Campbell Live and X Factor.
Just needed some time to myself tonight.

Sunday 26th April

I woke early, checked the forecast, still talking rain, but the Marlborough news was talking of rain tomorrow.
So I decided to make a run for it.
Azzan had been asking for days if he could go stay with Seb & Phoebe and I wanted to go check on a few things and bring back another load of stuff.
He was out to the count so I left him to sleep in a bit.
Woke him around 9am, he was very happy and packed his bag quickly.
Mahalia wanted to go to church so I organised a ride for her as it was beginning to rain at that point.
We zipped over to New World and grabbed some food take take, fuelled up the Nissan and then waited 10 minutes for Tank Juice Bar to open at 10am so we could get a smoothie each for breakfast.
Then we were off!

Azzan was in control of the music so we were entertained the whole way.
I felt an increasing solemnity hit me the further I drove, the closer to home we got.
I was shedding inside tears as thoughts flashed through my mind.
I realised a melancholy was settling on Azzan too.
He wanted to stop at Tim’s cairn but he didn’t want to get out.
He just wanted to cuddle long and hard while he cried.
We stopped at the sheds and had a wander around.
Azzan wanted to check out Tim’s truck.
He was trying to get in behind the seats, he told me that there was always things stashed there.
He finally got them forward and there were spare coats that Tim always kept there for emergencies.
Tim’s green raincoat was there too.
More tears, more intense hugs.
No, he didn’t want to take the raincoat, it had to stay right where it was.
He just needed to know it was there.

Finally we arrived down at the house.
It is so hard coming back home.
There is less and less there each time we go.
It is really feeling bereft and empty and lonely and everything that goes to having no Tim there.
Azzan was intent on packing up the car as quickly as possible.
We managed to clean out the study and loaded what we could into the car.
It took us about 3 hours to do it all!

Finally around 3:30pm we were all loaded up and ready to head out again.
Seb met us at the top of the hill and Azzan went off home with him.

Azzan was worried about me driving out on my own.
I assured him I would be fine and that I would actually probably enjoy the solitude.
The sky was so dramatic at the top of the hill.

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It was blowing a gale up there but still no rain.
The farm is looking really lush and green which is great.

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I snacked along the way as I was feeling rather hungry.
We hadn’t really stopped to eat while we packed.
It was such a stormy grey day, it really matched my mood.
Grey, bleak, sad, weary & worn.

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It was a long drive out, I was really struggling to keep focussed and the closer I got to Nelson the worse the weather became.
It was dark and raining as I drove over the Wangamoa’s so I had to really keep my wits about me.
Mahalia was pleased to see me when I finally arrived around 7:30pm.
She had walked home from church and then taken Caspian for a long walk up to see Sophie and had only just gotten back home before dark.
So there was one tired we puppy curled up in his bed.
We got some food and curled up not he sofa and watch X Factor NZ.
That put me to sleep so I staggered off to bed.
Woke up again when Nathan arrived in around 10pm.

Saturday 25th April

The kids were a tad scratchy this morning.
Azzan had woken up in the total opposite mood to last night.
He was wanting me to can all the plans for the games afternoon.
But I wouldn’t let him, he made the plans so he had to carry through and not let other down.
I had a chat with Mahalia and got her onside and they were soon hard at cleaning their rooms.
She finished hers and then helped Azzan get his done.
Then she vacuumed all through the house and he cleaned the kitchen.
Nathan & Mira tidied up all the cut foliage from the kowhai tree, the left over brush and weed mat.
I raked up the area while Caspian and a good run about.
I have started locking the gates with carbines while he is loose as it is just too easy for him to get out if someone comes in unaware of him.
Just a much better feeling of security until I get the fencing done.
The place looked fantastic – need the excuse of visitors more often methinks 😉

I zipped across town and picked up Sarah-Jane, Isaac & Madi soon after 2pm.
They came bearing Game of Thrones games, popcorn, coke, pizza for dinner and lots of enthusiasm which Azzan caught immediately.
They were soon all set up at the table and began playing and teaching him the rudiments of the game.
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I opted out and sat at the kitchen bench with my laptop and did my banking which was terribly overdue.
Mahalia discovered the popcorn needed a microwave so she chatted across the fence to our neighbours and they popped it for her in theirs 🙂
Mahalia took her time in getting to know the others.
I made more pizzas for dinner and went for a walk to get some hot chips to go with them.
Also popped next door to see Nin and buy some veges from her.
It is really sad cuz they are renting the house and the owner has decided to sell it so they will probably have to move.
They will be really missed as she has a great wee enterprise going there, there is always people stopping off to buy veggies and fruit from her.
She has developed a great garden in the 8 months they have been there.
The four kids watched ‘The Babadook’ in the lounge while they ate their dinner.
Sarah-Jane and I chatted over ours in the kitchen.
It was good to see the kids getting to know each other.
Azzan really enjoyed their company as they were able to talk his language.
Mahalia was delighted to meet another tall 15year old who was easy to talk to.
All round hi-5 successful afternoon/evening 🙂
Sarah-Jane and I sat outside and talked on the deck while the kids cleaned up.
Then I took them back home round 8:30pm.
Azzan was buzzing, he so enjoyed his day.
I was incredibly weary.
I also enjoyed the day and the company but I just find socialising exhausting these days.

Friday 24th April

With the urgency of the WoF impressing upon me I was up and gone soon after 8am.
Took the Nissan back through the AA line and this time passed with flying colours.
I then rocked up to see my physio and had a good session with her.

Shanni had Trades at NMIT today.
She was still not feeling 100% so came home a tad earlier.
She was all organised for her tramping weekend.
Luke came by and picked her up later in the arvo.
She went to a friends b’day party and then stayed the night with David & Sasha so she was ready to head off on the tramp with them in the morning.
I discovered Mahalia had ‘forgotten’ to make herself lunch today.
Not a lot of sympathy from my quarter as she had plenty of time and there was enough food in the fridge.
Guess she will remember next week 😉
She spent her lunch hour with Shanni and then after school did and an hours work at Nelson Beauty Therapy.
Bedelia drove her home after the earthquake as they were both rather shaken by it.

Azzan did some maths this morning so I lay on his bed and rested – helped him by just being there.
He works much better when he is not alone.
He’s been really up and down a lot lately so I took him back to the Dr for another chat as to what to do and where to go.
I am really happy with our new Dr, she is lovely, she actually listens to him and shows an interest and doesn’t just brush him off.
My homework now is to find the right counsellor for him to connect with.
I have a highly recommended lead so hope it will work out.

Azzan and I took a car for a test drive just after 3:30pm.
We had just left the showroom and were sitting at the lights heading north when the car began rocking around.
I did a bit of a panic, we were in a new car and weird things were happening.
Then it stopped.
And then it started again.
A guy next to us called to Azzan that it was an earthquake.
Discovered soon after that it was a 6.2 quake centred between Kaikoura & St Arnaud and was felt almost right through NZ.
We carried on with our drive, went all the way out to Hira and back.
After returning the car we went to 623 in the City to meet some of my workmates for drinks.
It was Rebekah’s b’day so a good excuse to get together.
Azzan was a bit apprehensive about being with all the ladies so was very happy to see Sasha arrive to meet David who was doing some work at 623.
She and Azzan went inside and danced to the live music until David was ready to leave.
Then he came out and entertained Sarah-Jane.
We were the last to leave because they were enveloped in a very passionate discussion about movies.
We dropped Sarah-Jane back home after making plans for a games session tomorrow.
We went to stock up on some groceries, then on to The Warehouse.
Azzan found his all time favourite movie there – the last one in stock of ‘The Babadook‘ so I bought it for him.
We had snacked at 623 so weren’t too hungry when we got home so just headed straight to bed.
He was percolating on all cylinders so it was hard to get him off to bed.
I was really weary so ended up leaving him to get settled 🙂