Monday 29th June

The temperatures have climbed considerably and today there was a warmer westerly wind blowing so no need for heating today.
I had a cruise start to my morning.
I had to be out the door around 9:30am and was pacing myself just nicely.
But as I was about to leave I received several phone calls one after the other.
I had to bang on the bathroom door to make sure Mahalia would be here to meet the plumber at 10:30am.
The bathroom sink has not been draining properly so I had organised someone to come have a look.
I knew it was probably an easy fix, one that Tim would’ve done at home in a few minutes.
It is things like this that I am finding really frustrating because I don’t know how to do them :-/
Anyway, the guy arrived and pulled out a major amount of hair – most probably from the head of a certain 15 year old!!
Am threatening to give her the bill to pay 😉

I flew out the door and arrived at my counselling session a few minute late in a breathless panic of hating to be late state.
So we did some deep breathing and then into some heavy trauma recovery work.
I was glad that I had decided to schedule a movie straight afterwards because I was able to sit in the dark amongst a group of perfect strangers and just zone out.
I hadn’t had time to eat breakfast and there was no time in between counselling and the movie to find decent food so I ended up killing the hunger bugs with a chocolate coated vanilla ice cream cone!
I had been wanting to go see ‘Far From the Madding Crowd’ and when I saw there was a Grey Power discounted session on at 11am today and my calendar was free, I slotted it in and allowed nothing to get in the way!
It was an excellent movie – I have grown up with Thomas Hardy, studied ‘The Mayor of Casterbridge’ at high school so was keen to see how this was presented.
Thoroughly recommend it.

I then headed back home.
Hung out a load of washing for Shanni and put a 2nd load on to wash while I ate some lunch.
Mahalia was off having lunch with friends and Mira was resting her the slept so Caspian was very pleased to see me.
Mahalia had taken him walking before she left.
I hung out the 2nd load of washing and then flew down the street to a meeting at SASH with Jan Logie.
There were 6-8 of us there and we had a very interesting time discussing the needs of women & children today in regards to our work.
I just had time to come home and change, catch up with the girls briefly before I left at 4:45pm.
Picked up Sarah-Jane and we drove out to Seifrieds Estate to the TrustPower Community Awards evening.
It was a great evening, so many volunteer groups I had never heard of.
Terrific networking evening.
I met a lovely lady from Soroptimist Nelson, it was really interesting to hear what they do.
Also met up with another couple who’s daughter was receiving an award for her services to volunteering via her high school.
Very encouraging, inspiring and rewarding to listen to the time put in by volunteers in our society.

We left around 8pm and after dropping Sarah-Jane home I came straight back, got some dinner and fell into bed to eat and talk to Jesika.
Then I was out like a light at a relatively early hour for me.

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Sunday 28th June

Had to get up and going by 8am so I was on deck for when Martin & Sylvia came passed to pick up an item to take to Christchurch for me.
Roused Mahalia 10mins before their eta but was still impatiently yelling down the hall for her to come help me lift after they arrived.
We had it loaded in very quickly so she was able to go back to her room and take time to wake up properly before heading off to church.
I did some cleaning up and sorting of stuff.
Loaded more into the Nissan.
Wanting to get it filled up before venturing to the op shop so I don’t have to do more than one load.
Was so tired and desperately needing warmth so took myself off to my bed and spent several hours dozing and watching a few episodes of Come Dine With Me NZ.
I finally roused myself and spent some time figuring out how to use my new scanner.
It was actually quite easy, I just hadn’t had any free headspace to work it out till now.

Headed off to Richmond around 3pm.
Spent a little time with Ross & Andrea before picking up Shanni from school.
We dropped her friend off on the way back.
They had enjoyed a wonderful weekend.
When we got back home I just wanted to fall into bed as I was so weary.
Shanni wanted to show me her photos so I had a quick look at them first.
She has some excellent pictures, I was extremely impressed to see where she was climbing – too scary for me!

Saturday 27th June

Woke around 6:30am when Mahalia leapt out of bed.
She was gone just before 7:30am.
Only takes her 5 mins to bike there.
I was expecting the heatpump guy to arrive at 8am so I was up and dressed and ready by then.
But he got held up so didn’t arrive till 9am.
Oh well, I had time to have breakfast, run the puppy, sort the washing and read some rather interesting family history.
Leroy arrived at 9am.
He is shifting the heatpump from here,
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to here.
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I have been puzzling for weeks as to why on earth the heatpump was placed above the drafty back door and right beside the wood fire.
When Leroy come to fix the other heatpump he told me that he had installed them and had not wanted to put it there but the owners at the time were planning alterations which obviously never happened.
So now I get the privilege of paying to have it put in a far more efficient place, which is where he advised it should’ve gone in the first place :-/

He was a chatty guy and we had some interesting talks while he worked.
Turns out his family knows a lot of my friends.
Small world!!
Mahalia arrived in from rowing, was exhausted so fell back into bed.
Nathan went to work, he’s not too great at the mo, came back later looking very unwell.
Mira had a driving lesson, then rested and went off for her last shift at work.
Leroy had to leave at 11am for a couple of hours so I shot into the city to pick up some things and then popped into the market to get some bread and coconut yoghurt.
Back home for a while.
Prised Mahalia out of bed at 2:30 so she could take Caspian for a quick walk.
Then we mosied up to Founders and met Freya & Ana for coffee & a chat while their kiddies played in the cafe playground.
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It was really lovely to see the girls again and Mahalia was able to connect with Ana who was a top competitive NZ rower before kids.
It was getting rather chilly by the time we left just before 5pm.
We went for a tiki tour to suss out a new tea shop, Branford Park and an address.
While driving we decided to check out the movies.
Back home to say hi & bye to Nathan & Leroy and then off down he street to suss out what was on.
But at 6pm on a Saturday night not many seats are left.
Took option B and bought tickets for the 8:40pm session.
What to do for the next 3 hours on a very chilly evening?
Go home or go walking?
Of course, you go walking!
Mahalia opted to eat at Little India so we headed up there very briskly.
We were recognised and welcomed.
I said to Halia that either we were very memorable or he hadn’t had many customers since last week.
She responded the former of course 🙂
We ordered Malai Kofta and Paneer Shimla Mirch to share.
They were absolutely delicious.
Nothing left in our bowls!
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It was lovely to spend the evening with my youngest daughter.
Even if she does load my iPhone up with selfies!
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We sat and talked for ages and then finally rugged up and faced the cold again.
We walked up the street and down the other side, checking out all the restaurants’ dessert menus.
Decided that Cafe Affair would do so wandered upstairs and ordered some brownie and sticky toffee pudding.
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They were both rather good.
Eventually we rolled ourselves downstairs, chatted with Nathan’s boss Vic, and then walked back to the cinema as we had filled in the 3 hours and the movie was starting in about 15 mins.
Whilst waiting for it to begin it all of a sudden hit me that I had no-one to be accountable to.
I was out ‘on the town’ which term according to Mahalia I am not allowed to use in that context! – and I had no-one to ask if I could go, no-one to tell me it was too late to go out, no-one to go home to and recount the movie to, no-one……….
It was solely my own decision.
And that bitter sweet thought made my eyes all wet & blurry :-/

We spent the next couple of hours watching ‘Man Up’.
It was actually really good.
Somewhere around the scene with the fire extinguisher I started laughing and I don’t think I stopped 🙂
Mahalia commented that it was not her normal choice of movie but she did enjoy it.
Back home to find Nathan looking somewhat better.
He had taken a much needed nana nap and was just waiting to go pick Mira up a bit later.
She was out celebrating after finishing her last night at work.

 

 

Friday 26th June

Up at 7am.
Another chilly morning.
Out come all the layers.
Back the car around, leave the engine running to warm it up.
Get the hose to defrost the windscreens.
Hose frozen.
Resort to bucket of warm water with some vinegar in it and hand wash it on with a brush to de-ice.
Load Shanni’s gear into the car.
Leave earlier than necessary so deviate from the route to suss out street temperature – 2’C!
Yesterday it was -1.3’C but today is way whiter and seems colder.
Roads are all white.
Really pretty, but I avoid the smaller less driven routes and take the roads more travelled – just in case.
Shanni lugged all her bags over the street to the bus and headed off to join the other campers for the weekend.
Back home.
Made porridge for Mahalia and myself.
Ran the puppy.
Dropped Hali at NMIT and then took myself to a 9am meeting with insurance broker.
Back home 10:30am for a wee while to do some catching up.
Going through boxes and trying to make some progress in the decreasing muddle process.
11:30am back into the car and off to Devilles Cafe.
Met Gay & Susan and a few other ladies most of whom remain nameless still.
One day I will get my head around remembering more than one or two names at a time!
The sparrows were very busy in the bush next to us.
And when we were not looking they descended en mass to devour unattended foods.
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Had a pleasant hour plus chatting.
Was rather weary though.
Called into work to munch on my share of some thank you chocolates and chat for a few minutes.
Went off to check out Sprog Hog Kidz shop.
Found a couple of treasures for a certain little treasure.
Headed home around 3pm ready for a nana nap.
But that never happened.
Instead I took a stroll down to the post office to dispatch a parcel to a special wee lassie.
Back home a weeks pile of mail collected for the neighbours was sitting on the bench so I bundled it up and walked round to deliver it.
Just returned from a particularly relaxing week in Phuket they had lots to talk about.
A knock at the door and Mahalia appeared with Caspian looking for a ride.
Oh dear!
Is that the time.
Bother, better go, plans made for a cuppa later.
Took Mahalia off to join Katherine & Sophie for an evening of fun at the YMCA kids night.
Realised I was all alone for the night so postponed a meeting with Seb.
Phoned Susan to get me a movie ticket & whizzed back home.
Deposited Caspian in his pen and flew to the cinema.
So hungry – ordered a pizza.
Susan calmly drinking her vino telling me I’d have plenty of time to eat it before the movie begins.
Joined Elizabeth & Vaito at their table.
Scoffed half of the delicious pizza whilst chatting with them.
Bagged up the other half and took it out to the car.
Arrived at the movie before lights were dimmed.
That Sugar Movie’ proved to be highly entertaining and extremely informative and incredibly scary – an indictment against todays medical, media, and business..
Should be mandatory for all!
Back home I began sorting through the myriad of boxes decorating my kitchen.
Made huge progress before Mahalia arrived in.
Heated up the pizza and munched it for supper.

Thursday 25th June

It was a lot colder today.
-1.3’C in Nelson.
We even got a slight frost.
Phoebe’s car was thick white on the roof.
The lawn was lightly crisp and the deck was very slippery.
Back window of my car was iced up, but that was the extent of it here.
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Shoshannah was picked up for work before 8am.
Mahalia tore out the door half an hour later.
I spent the morning helping Nathan sort out his NZQA stuff and figuring what he needs to do to get the credits he needs for his university studies.
Talk about complicated and extremely frustrating.
Finally found a guy who talked us through it on the phone but even he couldn’t give us 100% certainty of what to do.
We completed the enrolment online with what knowledge we now had.
Once that was done and Nathan had gone off to work I sorted some of the the boxes stacked in the kitchen.
Loaded several into the Nissan to get them one step closer to the recycling centre.
I began making a large batch of pumpkin soup.
Cooked up a heap of chickpeas to add to it.
I am loving having my pressure cooker out here now, makes it so much faster and energy efficient.
Azzan was given the ultimatum to clean up his room and get his school work done before he left to go to his counselling session.
I picked him up at 2:45pm and after getting myself a raspberry mocha from Starbucks we went to Torpedo to get all the bike accessories he needed.
We chose the high viz vest and some gloves and then recruited some assistance from the shop assistant.
He got Azzan sorted with a helmet and lights.
He is now pretty much ready for school.
It was time for Kip McGrath so I left him there and came back home to continue with the soup.
Found Caspian in Mahalia’s room, on Mahalia’s bed.
Both looking rather sheepish at being caught!
I left them to it with strong suggestions to Mahalia that she had a very limited time to clean up her room.
I quickly put some soup into a vacuum mug for Azzan to take with him cuz Anson had arrived and was taking him home with him for a few days.
Azzan was very very happy to be heading off with his big bro again.
We carried on with our dinner.
Shanni was getting her camping gear finalised.
Mahalia went off babysitting for a couple of hours.
I blobbed out and watched some ‘Orange is the new Black’ for the evening.

Wednesday 24th June

Another morning spent around the house and yet feeling like nothing much was achieved.
While hanging out the washing I discovered Caspian has found a new water bowl.
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Azzan & I whizzed out to Richmond to see Marah & Anson.
They had another appointment so we thought we could help babysit.
We got there first and had time to go get Azzan’s school shoes.
The last bit of his uniform – someone is getting very excited 🙂
Anson had to go drop off something first so we helped Marah with the babies when she arrived.
Aaliyah was all prettied up in her town clothes looking very cute.
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Eden was overjoyed to see her Uncle Zani, they had an energetic greeting.
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‘Hey Eden! Smile for Nonna’
Not on your life!!
Love these two of her and Azzan having a cute moment.
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Marah went off to meet Anson so we took Eden into the mall.
Azzan spotted Buonissimo Gelato Cafe so we didn’t get any further!
We bought a gelato each and a cute wee baby cone for Eden.
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I had no idea that it was almost solid chocolate – oops!
Sugar high for Mum & Dad a bit later :-/
In the meantime though it was enjoyed with lots of pleasurable licks.
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She tried to share it with me, but I’m not into chocolate ice cream so one wee lick was plenty.
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We tried to leave the last little piece of cone behind when we left the table but she wasn’t having a bar of that and insisted on devouring every skerrick.
We walked back to the bank through Whitcoulls and the lady there chatted with Eden as she did her toddler walk through the shop.
Anson was trying to keep Aaliyah quiet, she was memorised by the lights for a while.
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I swapped grandbabies, leaving a very hyped Eden and taking a slightly grumpy Aaliyah for a walk.
We walked back through Whitcoulls and  thoroughly confused the lady who’d seen us with Eden only moments earlier 🙂
We whizzed through the supermarket and soon the we poppet was sound asleep.
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Back to the bank and they were still sorting out their stuff so we sat and waited.
Eden was creating havoc but Azzan managed to capture me with the two wee darlings in a few split seconds as she raced about.
Check out that cheeky look in the first photo and the wee piggy nose in the second.
Little monkey!!
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We all had to get moving so Anson took off down to Port Ligar to do some stock work while Azzan & I helped Marah get the kids strapped in their carseats.
She had to go pick up a fire door which was having the glass replaced at Tahunanui and as it wasn’t quite ready she took the kids to the beach and had a wonderful breather.
Of course Eden got completely soaked 🙂

Azzan & I headed straight back home to meet up with Martin & Sylvia.
The sun was dazzling as we drove along the motorway.
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I was incredibly tired by the time we arrived home point so collapsed somewhat.
They arrived soon after us and we negotiated the measurements of the chest they are taking to Christchurch for me.
Once they had left Mira & Azzan went off for a bike ride.
Azzan returned feeling much more confident.
Mahalia came home and then left again for rowing.
Shoshannah was getting ready for her Outdoor Ed camp so needed to go shopping for food.
She biked on ahead and I followed a bit later to meet her at the supermarket to help her with the food.
Then she went to rock clinging for a couple of hours.
I went back home and Mira & I made dinner while Azzan took Caspian for a run.
We made a huge pot of pasta and veggies with a pureed pumpkin & coconut cream sauce.
We have some many butternuts here that need to be used so I am going all out to turn them into soups etc.
The carnivores had stir fried steak with it and the vegetarians had cheese, and I made a separate pot with gluten free pasta for Shanni so all needs were easily catered for.
It was really really good and everyone loved it 🙂

Tuesday 23rd June

We woke to the chilliest day in NZ thus far this year.
It was a good day to be wearing some of the most amazingly wonderfully lovingly warm hand knitted socks made by the glorious Eilidh.
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I had cosy toes all day – thanks so much Eilidh 🙂
I had an earlier rise planned today, Mahalia needed to be at NMIT at 8am to catch the bus for her class kayaking trip at Able Tasman.
Typically though I woke way earlier than necessary – like just after 4am, so I had nearly 3 hours of catching up on my blog and emails before I had to pull myself out of the blankets and into a hot shower.
For the first morning so far my rear car window had a layer of ice on it – brrrr.
But not as cold as the poor Southland folk are getting – it was down to minus 21’C this morning in the Mt Cook regions.
There were two buses being loaded when we arrived but my heated car seats were too cosy for Mahalia to want to get out until she was absolutely certain her class mates were there.
Then I pretty much had to push her out into the cold before I could head back home – tough being a mother sometimes 😉

I came back home with time to say goodbye to Shanni as she flew out the door to her driving lesson, which was ending up at school.
She needs at least another 10 hours of driving practise in on top of the lessons, so if there is anyone out there who lives nearby who is willing to ride shotgun with her so she can get some driving in we would really appreciate some help in this area.
I have tried to take her but am really struggling.
Because of historic events (rolling the landcover 30 years ago and then successive accidents involving cars and roads etc) I get triggered really easily which makes it very stressful for both me and Shanni.
I am working through this trauma now but it takes time and she is getting impatient to get to her next level of licensing.

Azzan finally appeared looking rather sleepy and disheveled.
We had breakfast and I dod some house stuff then had to leave him with Mira so I could go off to a meeting.
I had a scant half an hour free so I shot into Countdown and got a few groceries.
Then spent 2 hours reviewing insurances.
Got back home soon after 1pm to find Bruce & Azzan busy on my laptop mapping out routes for Azzan to get to school.
Then they donned helmets and hi viz jackets and went off to explore those routes.
I had the house to myself so I left Caspian to roam the section and be the big guard dog he pretends to be.
I took my lunch down to the sunroom and lay on the couch and had an hour resting.
It was just lovely to have some down time with feet up time 🙂

Azzan & Bruce arrived back around 3pm so I had a chat with Bruce while Azzan put away his bike and got ready for Kip McGrath.
Mira was back so I left her getting dinner ready.
Had just enough time to drop Azzan off and then get myself to my 3:30pm appointment with Sarah.
Mahalia text just as I was going in so Mira went and collected her.
She was very cold so came home to get warmed up before Mira took her to Kip McGrath and picked up Azzan at 5pm.
I was able to zone out completely and enjoy my massage.
I think I might have gone off to sleep again – Sarah has that knack or relaxing me so much.

Finally it was time to fall of the bed and pile my clothes back on and head out into he cold dark evening.
Mira had dinner under control.
An hour later I shot down to pick up Mahalia and then we enjoyed a delicious dinner.
Roast veggies with spinach, feta, basil, cashews sprinkled with balsamic and citrus infused oil eaten with a side of beetroot.
It was simply delicious.
Perfectly warming on a cold night.
Mira & I watched some of NZ’s Come dine with me.
It is such a crazy series – so Kiwi compared with the British original – that it is so bad sorta makes it cringingly funny.
I received a phone call with Marah while she was trying to set up her printer.
I am eternally grateful that Ross set up mine, but I now have no idea how it all works!!
So I was playing with the bells and whistles while Marah was doing hers in an attempt to try and figure it all out.
She was actually doing better than me!
I was saved from the technological nightmare when Rebecca called up for a chat 🙂
Nathan worked all day and then went straight to his German class so arrived back as we were all heading off to bed.
Another -1’C over night low is forecasted so  I left the heatpump on quietly heating so we wouldn’t freeze! tonight