Saturday 30th May

I stayed in bed until 11am today.
Mahalia got up late too.
She was astonished that I let her sleep in till 10am!
It was cold so Caspian wasn’t complaining too greatly about sleeping in either.
I rolled out of bed into the bath.
Watched the first episode of ‘Orange is the New Black’ whilst soaking in hot Epson Salts.
When I was finally out and dressed I was looking for some food.
But other things got in the way.
Mahalia had stacked most of the wood Graham had dropped off and she had gone off walking with Katherine.
So I stacked the rest of it.
Moved a heap of timber to tidy up thing.
Then Nathan helped me move the small stack of wood Anson had left a while back.
Got it all stacked together so I could cover it all more easily.
Then we put the boxes of kindling into the shed out of the rain.
The rain was just beginning to fall.
Damp enough to be annoying but not heavy enough to cause too much damage.
Nathan & Mira went off shopping so I made some poached eggs on toast and watched another episode of Orange is the New Black.
Whizzed over to the airport to pick up a friend and when home the girls thought pizza sounded like pretty good idea for dinner so I mossied off down the street and got a pizza & chips.
Milton St Takeaways do a really good special pizza with spinach, feta, caramelised onions & walnuts.
Soon good.
The girls had also made some baked potatoes while I was gone.
We curled up on the sofa and watched a few episodes of The Paradise while we ate dinner.
Today was the first day we turned on the heat pump in the hall.
Had the fire blazing all day so the house was nice and cosy.
I’m not that keen on the heat pump type of heat, it doesn’t warm you up like the wood fire does, so I am glad to have a good supply of wood for the winter.

Friday 29th May

Began my 48 hours on the pager at 8am so was up, not really ready for the day.
Was feeling like rubbish..
So after the girls headed off to NMIT so I took Caspian for a walk around the block.
It was a cool morning but sunny.
Here’s home from across the road as we came back.
I think my jacaranda tree needs a prune.
You don’t realise how big it is until you take time to look back at it.
I walked down to the Sprig & Fern to meet Adam at 10:15am.
It was really nice sitting out on the deck in the sun while we discussed some  business.
An hour later and the sun was retreating behind the trees so we came back home to suss out a few details.
Then he headed off.
Had a fairly fraught half an hour, my temper was pushed and I hit the roof about some issues.
Then Graham arrived so I took my frustrations out on unloading the trailer of wood.
Had only just finished that when I got called for work just before 1pm.
Spent the next hour plus working and then dropped into Women’s Centre to write my report.
Picked up a baked potato on the way as I was getting rather hungry by this time.
Wrote up my report and had a relaxing chat with me of the other SASH ladies.
Finally dragged myself away and headed home.
It was beginning to get rather busy outside as there was a big rugby match on tonight.
I was totally oblivious to it until mid arvo.
Crusaders vs Hurricanes so all the fans were out in force.
Nathan & Mira were both at work by the time I got home.
They had long nights ahead with all the rugby supporters out on the town.
Mahalia was home and Caspian was enjoying her company.
Shanni arrived back, she had been to a job interview and then the hairdressers after polytec.
She was very happy with her cut and conditioning treatment 🙂
I zipped off to catch Briscoes before they closed as I knew their floor rugs were on special.
Had a ball there getting blankets, mats etc at some extremely amazing prices.
I also went to New World and got a few items, mainly went to get some mouse traps as Shanni has been hearing a little critter in her room.
Shanni cooked chicken and a starry with rice for dinner.
Sasha droped David & Anson off at the rugby and then came to hang out with us.
We had a girls movie night.
I had bought and Apple TV thingee a week or so back but hadn’t had a chance to figure out how to connect it up.
Mahalia & I got it sorted, it took a while which was a bit frustrating.
I was rather annoyed at the shop salesman, because when I had asked him how to get it working he just brushed me off and said, ‘Get your son to set it up for you’!
Sanctimonious young prat – there are some things in life that I want to do without being made to feel old and incapable!!
Anyway, we finally got it running and got Netflix working so we chose a movie called ‘From Prada to Nada’.
It was a very predictable chick flick, but fun to watch.
Just what we all wanted 🙂
Then soon after the movie ended the guys called to say the game was over so Sasha & Shanni went to pick them up.
Shanni went home with Anson for the weekend.
That left Mahalia & I home alone!
We both wanted something but the fridge and pantry wasn’t supplying our needs.
She wanted ice cream, so I hoped into the car and made a mercy dash to the supermarket.
However, I never took into account there were about 60 million people trying to depart from the game which was help only 3 blocks from here!
I shoulda taken a different route and gone to New World, but I didn’t.
I took the normal route and headed to Countdown – duh!
So here I am crawling along in bumper to bumper traffic watching the clock move closer and closer towards 10pm.
I’m thinking to myself, this was a stupid impulse…grrrr!
Then as I was crawling along I remembered that Sasha hadn’t asked the guys what the score was so I called Anson on the handsfree and had a chat.
Crusaders won!!
Thrashed them in fact – 35-18!
Apparently that was unexpected so everyone in the South Island were most delighted 🙂
Anyway, I saw a glimpse of hope and zipped around the corner and got tot he supermarket with 3 mins to spare.
Raced to the ice creams and found the one Mahalia wanted.
Then remembered I had a voucher to use so spent the rest on a stash of naughty treats  😉
We hunkered down on the couch and watched the beginning of the 2nd season of The Paradise whilst devouring MallowPuffs.
I dont ‘do’ ice cream so left Halia to that pleasure.
Finally headed off to bed

Thursday 28th May

I had a few appointments scattered through the middle of the day.
So before I left I got started on making soup for dinner.
Good wholesome nourishing warm soup that everyone in the house can eat and hopefully it would last a few days.
It took me most of the day to get it completed as I came and went.
First appointment was to go see Angie and get my fringe clipped as I was feeling a tad wool blind.
Then met up with Ella for a cuppa during her lunch break.
After leaving her I popped in to the Greek Foods shop and had a chat with my neighbours George & Laraine.
Left with a deliciously fresh out of the oven spanakopita.
So good!!
Am threatening to pop in to visit when Laraine is cooking sometime as they live only 2 fences away from here 🙂
I had some time free so went back home and carried on making soup.
Left Mira to finish it and zipped off to my next appointment.
Home again an hour later feeling much rejuvenated following a facial and massage.
Pat came to visit and we talked through a lot of plans I have in my head, discussed safety options for the gates and looked at the fixit jobs I need done.
Now I just have to wait for the timber to arrive so we can get started.

Tonight was the 3rd Quiz Night for our Nelson VanAid fundraising for Vanuatu.
I quickly changed into some tidier clothes plus my warm coat as it was really chilly out.
It was just after 5:30pm when I finally found the Tasman Bay Cruising Club.
The lighting was just lovely so I had to stop and take some photos before heading inside to help with the setting up.
We didn’t have a lot of time to set up but it was a smaller venue and by now we are all dab hands at it so it all was done fairly quickly.
I hadn’t had a chance to eat yet so wicked away to go find something quick and nourishing.
Cruised down Hardy street where most of the foodie places are.
Couldn’t get a park easily so by time I found one time was getting on.
Was thinking about Thai but then I discovered a new place.
It is Turkish, called Paasha.
They made me a wrap with zucchini fritters in it.
It was to die for delicious.
One of the best wraps I have ever had.
Definitely going back there!!
People began arriving not long after I returned.
It was a freezing cold night so it was good to be wrapped up cosy inside.
The venue was the smallest so far and the crowd was spread around an L shaped room.
But it was all good, very friendly happy bunch.
Tonight I was a marker so after every quiz section Anne, Karen & I would whip round and collect the papers and make them quickly whilst the others sold raffles and played games and Eric slipped in a few auctions.
It went well, a good night and thanks to all who donated and attended to raise some more dollars towards the Vanuatu fund.
I arrived back home around 10pm to find the fire was out and the house cold.
Not impressed, especially as I had gotten it going before I left.
Headed off to bed as Nathan was lighting it before he went to bed.
At least Caspian was warm tonight.

Wednesday 27th May

An early start today as I had to be out the door by 8am.
I hung out some washing.
In spite of the chilly and slightly forty morning it was breezy so it would all dry well.
Stopped in at The Bakers Cafe to pick up a morning mocha and a fresh melt in your mouth raspberry & custard croissant to munch on.
Totally divine deliciousness.
I had loaded up the Nissan last night with Mira’s help, stacking in the duchess and kitchen chairs which have been blocking up my back door for too long.
I knew I was taking Gill & David with me so when Sylvia rocked up as well we had to do a bit of manoeuvring to squeeze us all in.
But it was all good, and nice & cozy in the back seat on a chilly morning.
We stopped off at Waimea and met Shanni.
She had forgotten her lunch yesterday so I brought it out for her.
Then quickly raced in to leave stuff with Ross and then we were off and away.
Called in to the Wakefield Bakery.
It had moved into new premises only on Monday so still getting themselves set up and sorted.
I bought some morning tea and David got the drinks.
Took a while, guess the barista needs more practise.
Their old self service machine was actually quicker and did better coffees 🙂
We arrived at Marah’s door at 9;45am.
Thought we were too early as it as all locked up.
But no, the girls were just showered and keeping warm in the living room.
This is the pretty frosty sight at the back door that greeted us, so no wonder she keeps the wee girls in the living room until the fires and the sunshine warm the place up.

We chatted for a while then David went off and brought down a few barrow loads of firewood and I unloaded the truck.
He carried in the duchess for me.
Then we all enjoyed a cuppa and the sunshine in the kitchen.
It is all looking pretty in readiness for a certain 2 year olds birthday in a few days.
Marah got Eden all dressed up cosy and they went off with Sylvia to pick up feijoas.
I got to cuddle Aaliyah and she was soon sound asleep.
Haven’t lost my touch just yet 🙂
Marah sent me this photo after we had gone.
Cute 🙂
Gill & David had a plane to catch so we left around midday.
There are a lot of road works happening in their street so we had to negotiate it each time we came in and out.
The high speed internet cables are being laid around the city now so we cannot complain about the inconvenience.
Martin had soup and toast all ready for us.
I was really hungry so happily devoured my bowl full.
It was really lovely to sit and talk for the hour before leaving for the airport.
Then some more talking time at the airport before they had to all too soon board the flight.
It has been a very pleasant few days.
Looking forward to a lot more contact in the future 🙂

I dropped Martin & Sylvia home and then headed over the hill.
I was passing the library when I got a call from Mahalia asking if I could pick her up.
Good timing, I diverted and swung passed the NMIT and she climbed in.
She had had a long tiring day so was grateful for the ride.
Came home and she got ready for rowing and I took her over there at 4pm.
Had a chat with her rowing coach.
He was very positive about her rowing skills and said that if she perseveres she could be in the NZ championships in next few  years.
Great to hear, especially as she is enjoying it so much.
I stopped off to book tickets to the movies tonight.
On my way back Shanni text me to I picked her up.
Seem to be turning into a school bus today!
She had a driving lesson booked so wasn’t at home long.
Nathan cooked dinner.
David arrived to fit new light bulbs in.
What a huge difference LED bulbs make, the house is beginning to shine 🙂
Mahalia bounced in the gate with great enthusiasm as David was leaving so we all had a bit of a party int he courtyard 🙂
Nathan drove Mira & I off to the movies at 6pm.
We were thoroughly entertained by Melissa McCarthy & Miranda Hart in ‘Spy’.
It was hilarious.
Home to the girls who were in bed or nearly in bed.
I took Caspian for a run around the yard, he was not at all keen on getting into his bed tonight so I left him and put him in later after he had simmered down.

Tuesday 26th May

I surprised the children by my presence this morning.
They were not expecting me back until tonight.
In fact Nathan walked in the door without seeing my Nissan which was parked right outside, so stared at me in disbelief when he saw me at the table!
They were all heading off to work and school which left me home alone with just Caspian.
I put through several loads of washing.
It was a lovely breezy day so I hung out 4 loads.
As well, I was able to have a long soak in a bath with Epson Salts which helped to ease my aching body.
It was so lovely to just take my time and not rush off anywhere.
I made myself some food and lay on my bed in the sunshine to eat.
I didn’t begin unpacking the car until early afternoon.
Martin & crew arrived and the guys helped lift the boxes out.
We made plans for tomorrow and then they headed home.
I had bought some flannelette sheets online and wanted to change the colour so I zipped down to Briscoes later in the arvo.
Got them all washed and dried ready to put on my bed.
Mira cooked dinner tonight.
Vegetarian fritters, rice salad and roast potato cubes.
I whizzed off to pick up Mahalia from Kip McGrath after 6pm.
Shanni was staying in Richmond, and Nathan’s German lesson was cancelled so it was just the four of us tonight.
Caspian was being so funny.
Rolling around on the floor under my feet in a most ungainly fashion.
I was sorting things I want to sell on and Nathan built this wonderful art piece out of the 21 magazine file boxes.
Mira & Caspian had fun with it, until it collapsed 🙂
I left Mahalia & Caspian having a snuggly playtime in the kitchen and headed off to bed.
Found lots of selfies on my camera afterwards!

Monday 25th May

I was planning to leave reasonably early to head back home but as the morning was very chilly I was happy to not be too rushed.
Not that keen on hitting the hills when there is a chance of frost on the roads.
The girls were getting ready to attend a Fullpower course for the morning that I had signed them up for.
I dropped them off at the ACC rooms at 9:15am and then went to do a couple of jobs.
Raced into New World to get a couple of items, zipped out to Tahunanui to return some lightbulbs and then back to fuel up the truck at Caltex.
Dropped some stuff back at the house and then I was gone.
It was a beautiful day.
Clear blue skies, and warm in the car, but not so hot outside.
There was a very chilly breeze blowing.
I had a fairly slow trip in as it got harder the closer I got.
Normally the tears don’t begin to well up until I get nearly home.
But today I was sitting with a huge ball of emotion in my gut just building and building most of the way, with tears seeping, then spilling the further I drove.
I stopped at Tim’s cairn for a few moments.
There is something about being here.
The place where Tim’s spirit left us.
It is spectacularly beautiful.
But an incredible sense of abandonment & sadness overwhelms me here.
I took this panorama while here – it gives a very strange perspective of the road behind and in front of me!
I finally carried on homewards.
Only another 20mins and I am at the house.
Anson was out doing his possum traps so the house was all quiet and cold.
I was horrified to find rat destruction through the hall and some bedrooms.
The mess was all too much 😦
So instead of dealing with it straight away I called up Jesika and had a chat with her to take my mind of everything.
Azzan arrived soon after with Phoebe & Seb and Sapphie.
He got stuck in and vacuumed up the mess which helped me face what I needed to do.
I began cleaning out my bedroom and Azzan helped me load a heap of boxes into the Nissan.
Seb dug out a few plants for me to bring back to town.
I didn’t want much, just a rose, Jesika & Evan’s wedding protea and some bulbs.
Phoebe took some cuttings from around the garden and then I began sorting stuff inside.
Azzan was very helpful and looked after his wee niece.
They found my bag of chips and finished them off 🙂

As Azzan vacuumed watch bedroom he closed the door to leave them empty and clean.
I finally got the school room done.
Sapphie discovered the empty bookcase and quickly turned it into a climbing wall.
She is certainly displaying talents her aunts would be proud of!!
Anson arrived back home.
He was very cold.
No wonder, the rest of NZ was in the grips of a winter storm bringing low thick snow down low in many areas south of us.
We were just getting the resulting colds winds.
He & I had been invited to Sandra & Phil’s for dinner.
So as soon as Seb & Phoebe headed off we raced around getting ready to go.
I managed to finish packing up the car.
I made sure I had as much onboard as I could take.
Anson left before me.
I wanted to make sure all was tidy and as clear as I could make it, plus was still fitting in more boxes and stuff to take out.
Finally left just before 6:30pm.
We arrived down in Bulwer to a lovely warm house and delicious dinner.
Spent the evening getting to know Tim & Martin’s cousin Gill & her eldest son David better.
It was the first time she had ever been to Port Ligar.
Phil had taken them fishing this arvo and they were enjoying their catch with their dinner.
Had to do a tad of photo cropping here because Martin & Gill’s faces would not cooperate with the camera – worse than taking photos of the kids!
IMG_5655 (1)IMG_5655
Marah was messaging me throughout the evening, sending these cute photos of Eden & Aaliyah which everyone enjoyed with me  🙂

Everyone began making moves towards their beds soon after 9:30pm.
I decided to head off home to Nelson.
I did have the invitation to stay the night but felt I just wanted to get home.
It was a long drive and I had to stop a many times to rest my eyes, but I finally pulled in the gate at 1am.
A very long day and an extremely long 3 hour drive but I was glad to be back in my own bed.

Sunday 24th May

I had booked into an art day today.
It is something I have been wanting to do for an age and finally there was a class – yippee!
Garden of Holland – not surprisingly owned & operated by a Dutch couple Ad & Marjo – run some really cool sculpture classes and I had been talking to them at the Saturday Market many times over past months.
Mahalia had to get to rowing by 8:30am so I dropped her off there and then zipped into the supermarket to get some lunch food.
Then found my way to the Williams Room at Braemar.
Ad was there getting everything all set up for our 9am start.
Thankfully the room was warmed by heaters as it was a very chilly morning.
Also the lighting was great and the sun heated the room beautifully throughout the rest of the day.
There were just 6 of us in the class which was really nice.
A happy friendly bunch of ladies.
I had chosen to make the large Art Deco lady.
We were all given our frames to begin with and spend most of the morning building the shapes.
Time to stop and have lunch now we all had them to the required size and shapes.
Then after lunch it was paverpol time.
Black messy stuff.
Creating, shaping, covering, moulding, draping……
Great fun.
Loved it!
And then she was all ready to dry and paint.
She’s all done 🙂
Ad helped me lay her in the back of the Nissan.
I am glad I brought that car as she took up the whole back with the seats laid down!
I drove home carefully.
Found David here fitting my new lights so I parked outside the front door and Seb carried her in for me.
She is now standing in her glory in my sunroom while she dries completely over the next few weeks.
Then I have a position in mind for her in my garden landscaping.

David got the lights all hanging.
I am rapt with my antique lamp.
It is a converted gas light – have no idea of the age, but am delighted with it.
The pulley system has a weight with a cap which would’ve been lowered to douse the gas flames.
Mahalia’s lights look lovely in her bedroom too.
Both are such a major improvement on the horrid little halogen spotlights that were there.

Azzan & Mira had been out picking up chestnuts.
Sasha was also here hanging out with the girls.
Everyone was home except Nathan so the house was rather busy.
And I was incredibly tired.
David & Sasha headed off home.
Nathan arrived back from work ready to head back out again to a bbq with Mira.
See decided that yes they were actually going to go home now so I hurriedly put some food together for them to take as Phoebe & Azzan were really hungry.
Sapphie was just plain tired.
Finally got them all into the truck and sent them off down the road.
Mahalia was at church with Sophie and stayed on to have dinner with their family.
It was just me and Shanni at home.
I was so tired I could barely drag myself off the chair.
But I wanted needed to go get groceries so I left Shanni to deal to Caspian and I went off to New World and got the weekly supplies.
Shanni helped me unpack them all.
I filled a couple of ciabatta buns with lettuce and tuna and made a moccacino and then went off to bed.
I so wanted a soak in the bath but was too tired for even that.
It was a very long day.
But so much fun.
Haven’t had a good art session like that in far far too long.