Friday 28th August

Shoshannah had to be at school by 8am to sort out gear for next weeks Outdoor Ed camp.
She was very keen to drive herself out there now she has her licence.
So after a pow wow with Nathan, who reminded me with big brotherly concern that young folk on restricted licences are at the most risk of accidents, and he also checked with me that she had enough money in the bank to cover her insurance excess.
It is nice to have a concerned & supportive older brother in the house 😉
So with some trepidation I agreed that she could drive herself out to Richmond.
Nathan & I figured that if she was leaving at 7:30am she would be missing the rush traffic.
So she was up early and ready to leave by 7:30am, under instruction to text me as soon as she arrived.
At 8am she called me to say she had arrived safely, but also mentioned that she had not taken her own camping gear so she had to return to pick it up!
So she ended up driving back home and out to Richmond again in  the midst of the rush traffic after all.
She did the two return trips with no mishaps so we put it all down to her getting lots of practise 😉

Azzan was not that keen on the idea of biking to school today.
He had slept in and was not looking terribly happy.
I just thought he was tired from last night so I gave him a hurry up out the door and sent him off to school.
Then I raced through the shower and got ready for a busy morning.
Sarah flew up from Christchurch so I zipped out to the airport to pick her up.
Then we came into town and had brunch & a good catch up at The Suter Cafe.
Called in to say g’day to Glen, and then dropped off her bag at her motel.
She then came to suss out my new abode and hung out here for a while.

Marah came to drop her wwoofers off in town.
But on the way her vehicle was playing up.
She managed to get to my place around midday and we called the mechanic.
So while he checked it over she and the kids hung out here.
Uncle Nathan enjoyed some niece time 🙂
Aaliyah thought he was pretty funny 🙂
Aaliyah and Nonna took some selfies while her Mum was busy with Eden.
That was fun 🙂
Uncle Nathan showing that he is quite capable of multi tasking!
The work on the truck took quite a while so everyone was getting rather weary.
Sarah & Marah had some chill time with Eden on my comfy sofas.
Kolo (France) & Kat (Germany) went for a walk to the top of the Centre of NZ while they waited.
Finally it was time to leave so I grabbed some photos first.
Kolo is quite a character and was hamming it up for the camera 🙂
We transferred everything from Marah’s truck into mine and parked hers up here until the mechanic can figure out what to do with it.
I took the woofers and Sarah into the city and dropped them all off.
Azzan arrived back from school looking dreadful.
He fell into his bed and I found him there when I got home still fully clad in his uniform.
When I realised that he was not going to get up and go to Youth Group I figured that he wasn’t shamming this morning :-/
He loves Youth Group so this was serious stuff 😦
By night time I managed to get him out of his uniform and tucked in properly.
He was beginning to run a fever so I gave him some Disprin before I went off to bed.

Marah sent me this photo of the two wee darlings reading stories together after they got back home.
It was a big day for them all and they were ready for bed nice and early.

Thursday 27th August

All the kids were at school today.
Nathan was starting late and had planned to walk the puppy for me once he surfaced.
But I figured it was a good day for Caspian to have some socialisation.
So I made some last minute decisions and dropped Caspian off to spend the morning with Max.
They went crazy from the moment we got inside the gate at 9:30am until I picked him up at 1pm.
They apparently never stopped.

I rocked up at the second morning of our art journalling class.
Took some of my own work to show the ladies.
Good to share and see what others are doing.
Another lady had bought a stunning journal which was amazing and vastly different to mine.
Unique – each one of us 🙂
We did some more work to a couple of the pages we had begun last week.
Ronnie showed us all sorts of tricks and techniques throughout the morning.
She’s a great teacher.
So I ended up with 2 different but slightly complimenting journal pages by the end of the session.
This is my favourite page.
I zipped up to pick up Caspian from Kirsty.
The two pups met me at the gate and then were off round the garden a million times more!
Finally got mine into the car.
He looked very sad.
Back home so he could rest.
Kirsty thought he would sleep the afternoon away but no, he was still full of beans.

I drove with Shoshannah to the AA at 1pm and sat in the back while she had a driving lesson.
She was a bit rusty as she hadn’t done much driving due to illness etc.
But she was doing well by the end of the hour.
We came back to the AA, relaxed and freshened up for 10 mins and then her testing officer arrived to take her for her Restricted Licence.
I had my phone sound turned off and was keeping very quiet in the back seat.
Then I got a call from Azzan which I had to cancel.
Then ensued a volley of texts about a forgotten disco ticket!
He had taken the money to school this morning to buy his ticket for the Prep disco which was on at 7pm tonight.
But had booked home and realised it was still in his desk./
So panic stations!!
I was texting Nathan and Mahalia to get them to help him.
But Nathan was in the shower and Mahalia had no money on her phone 😦
So things were not going well for a few minutes.
Then I managed to connect with Nathan.
Told him to take my 4WD but to do that he had to move my Mitsi Lancer and I had the key in my pocket!
So Azzan had to scurry through my stuff to find the spare one.
All the while he was panicking that the classroom would be locked up before they got there.
Soon Nathan had Azzan in my truck and they whizzed up too the school, phoning ahead to the principal to make sure the classroom was unlocked, to get the ticket.
Meanwhile back in the front seat of the Honda Shanni was doing pretty well.
She didn’t make any major mistakes, just a couple of small errors which he let her off on as he had witnessed her driving the same place the hour previously with her instructor and he knew she had done it all right then.
We went inside with him afterwards, Shanni was still unsure if he was going to pass her or not.
Talk about big smiles of relief afterwards 🙂
Congratulations my darling.
It has been a long haul but you’ve made it this far.
We are very grateful to all our friends and family who have patiently taken Shanni for driving practises.
She is now happily sharing the Honda with Nathan 🙂

Back at home there was much celebration.
Squeals of delight from younger siblings and big hugs all round.
Then it was time to get Azzan ready for the disco.
Mahalia was of course responsible for ensuring he was dressed appropriately.
He had ironed his clothes yesterday but I felt his shirt needed some extra help so I did it again.
Here is my little chick magnet.
I dropped him off at 7pm.
Was told quite firmly that parents needed not stay when I suggested I should 😉
Picked him up again at 9pm.
He was buzzing.
He’d had a wonderful time.
‘I danced with 33 girls!
They all loved me cuz I’m such a gentleman.’ 🙂
Of course you are my darling.
You’re your father’s son.
He would be so proud of you.
You’re growing into a wonderful young man.

Wednesday 26th August

I was on pager today so hadn’t planned anything much.
Took my time in getting up.
Azzan came in to see me looking like death warmed up.
He had vomited last night so I sent him back to bed and emailed the school.
He rested for a while and then felt well enough to spend some time cleaning up his room.
He had a sore throat and just needed a day at home.

I took Shoshannah into town to suss out some vests.
Left her at MacPak to head off and find others to compare.
She needs time to make her decisions and I get bored and frustrated with the amount of time she needs!!

I met Tracey at The Bakers Cafe at 10am.
It has been shut for a while over winter while the owners have their first baby.
Good to see them up and running again.
They’ve tweaked a few things to make it more interesting and comfortable too.
The mocha and eclair were just lovely.
We chatted the hour away and before we knew it our meters were expiring and we had to leave.
I came back home.
I was feeling a bit low.
Just had a quiet afternoon.

Later in the day I went for a drive to Atawhai to suss out some antique drawer handles.
Got some samples and came home in time for dinner.


Tuesday 25th August

Azzan was up early, being responsible and making his own lunch and breakfast so I went back to bed.

I thought I needed to go to the PO to sort out a payment so I shot into city just after 8:30am.
PO opens at 9am – duh!
Then read the papers more closely and saw I couldn’t pay in shop, only online!
So I detoured over to pick up Sasha from her appointment and took her back home with me.
Got her comfy and spent an hour chatting over breakfast.
Shanni started making a cake.
I got a chicken casserole into the slow cooker.
Nice to actually have some food prepared for once!
Then David arrived to pick up Sasha, so Shanni raced round gathering her gear and climbed in the truck with them.
She had an exam later and wanted to go do some study beforehand so the ride out worked well for her.

It was such a beautiful day that I couldn’t stay inside.
I had accounts to do but couldn’t didn’t want to face them so I took Caspian for a walk around a few blocks.
The magnolia’s are coming into their full beauty now.
They are so pretty.
I stopped to take photos and the postie in front of me paused to offer an agreeing comment as to how beautiful the day was 🙂
This Leucadendron bush was so pretty too.

Nathan helped me unpack my truck.
Now I have more boxes and junk stacked in the kitchen etc.
I hate hate hate having all this excess around me.
It does my head in.
But I will start making a hole in it once I am not feeling so tired and overwhelmed.

Shoshannah went back to help Sasha get ready for her flight to Wellington and then David dropped her home after they went to airport.

Mahalia was away at NMIT all day and then Kip McGrath straight afterwards so she didn’t get home till after 5pm.

Azzan had Sea Cadets.
It didn’t start till 6:30pm so he had time to rest up and have dinner.
He wanted me to drive him there but I insisted he walk as it wasn’t yet dark.
Felt bad but don’t want the kids getting in habit of getting a lift just because they don’t ‘feel’ like walking or biking cuz of weather or being tired or, or, or….
I didn’t realise it till later that his uniform boots were uncomfortable, but because of the walk there they realised he needed to change them.
Nathan went off to German class and picked up Azzan on his way home.

Shoshannah finished making her cake – delicious way to end the day.
Plus it was all healthy – GF & Dairy free  🙂


Monday 24th August

Monday was a recovery day.
I had a busy morning but by afternoon I was ready to collapse.
I was so incredibly bone achingly weary.

Shoshannah had an English exam today.
She is not at all well but is forcing herself to keep going as it is exam week.

Mahalia was at home all day.
She slept, and studied, and then walked to NMIT mid arvo to spend time doing some catch up work that she had missed last week before going on to Kip McGrath.

Kirsty dropped by to leave me some papers around lunch time.
When she came in and saw the very large sounding dog was actually our cute little fluff ball, she got all excited and asked if her little fluff ball could come in and play.
Well the pups went manic!
They tore round the garden like there was no tomorrow!
It was hilarious.
Caspian is 9 months Maltese Shitzu and Max is 7 months Maltese Bichon, so perfectly matched for size and energy levels.
Unfortunately for the little boys Kirsty had to go but future playdates were proposed to keep them happy.

I cooked up the butterfish for my lunch.
Couldn’t find breadcrumbs so coated it in ground linseed and super grains.
It was delicious.
Couldn’t eat it all so left some for Nathan.

I had a therapy appointment at 2:15 so I whizzed off to that.
I was feeling pretty good before hand but came out feeling really down.
Thought it was sposed to work the other way?
Great :-/

I was just getting ready to leave the house when a guy arrived from McCrae’s to hang up the 3 honeycomb blinds I had ordered.
I had totally forgotten he was coming.
He whizzed in and got them done very quickly.
But we were late leaving because of it.
I had Azzan ready and out the door and the place semi locked as he was putting in the last screws!
We were supposed to be picking up Azzan’s school friends at 5pm but didn’t leave till just afterwards so he was getting a bit stressed.
However both Kin & Oh were waiting near the boarding hostel so hopped in and we were soon out at Stoke.
The basketball game tonight was at the Jack Robbins Stadium.
I met up with one of his friend’s mother which was really nice.
We had a quick chat and then I went out to the car to rest up.
It was warmer and more comfortable in there.
I read for a while and then shut my eyes as I was really tired.
Went in for the final moments of the game.
Azzan’s No 12.
His team won tonight so they were all very happy.
We dropped the boys off, they were happy to be back in time for dinner.

I was now able to enjoy and appreciate the blinds installed this afternoon.
They are great.
Apparently they are being used & accepted by the Council instead of double glazing and are just as, if not more so, effective.

Our trip home from Azzan’s perspective 22/23 Aug 2015

Azzan uses my camera more than I do.
In fact his goal is to save for a really good ‘old type’ camera.
By this he means an expensive Canon or similar with huge lens’ and lots of bells & whistles like Marah, Jesika, Sunni & Mat have.
Unlike the ‘modern’ iPhone or quick shot little purse models 😉

He is really into ‘artistic’ shots.
Here are some of my favourites he took showing his perspective of our trip home this weekend.
No commentary needed I feel 🙂


Sunday 23rd August

I slept really well and woke in time to watch the sun rise.
It was glorious.
Azzan walked up the hill with my camera, he wanted to take lots of photos whilst home.
I waited a while to give him time.
Last parting shot of the dawning day over Waterfall Bay 🙂
Picked up my hitchhiker half way up the hill and we headed over the hill to home.
Met up with Olly on the way down our road.

I pulled in at The Croft, and with a tad of artistic licence –
‘all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the sea, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.’
Checked out The Croft, all was well there.
No sign of intruding rodents so carried on to the homestead.
My goal was to completely empty the house today, but when we arrived I was once again burdened with a sense of ‘it’s all too much’.
I wandered around, feeling lost, overwhelmed, and tearful.
Azzan went down to check out The Cottage and read the power meters for me.
I wandered the garden.
Wonderful contrast of the gnarly old tree against the delicate spring flowers.
The daphne is in full bloom.
Every year Tim would bring me a sprig of the first daphne flowers.
I miss him.
It was really lovely because the sun was shining over the hill and on the house & garden.
It made it all seem less depressing.
Azzan & I enjoyed a moment just sitting on the deck and enjoying it.
He inadvertently kicked a large ball into the sea so dragged out the kayak to go rescue it.
It was great to hear him out there singing his wee heart out.
The sea and hills give a wonderful resonance to his lovely voice.
Seb, Phoebe & Sapphie came over to help me pack up.
Seb & Azzan took several loads of boxes around to The Croft.
They can stay there until I am able to transport them all out.
David & Diana finally arrived with their children.
They had a long slow trip in so the kids were very happy to be out of the car and ran around exploring the place.
Azzan took them on a tour.
Sandra & Phil arrived in their boat and come to help too.
Sandra pretty much packed up & cleaned the whole kitchen which I so appreciated.
Phoebe vacuumed through the house as we finished each room.
I was going through checking to make sure everything was done and gone and picking up small things left lying about.
I saw something under the linen cupboard so reached in to get it and pulled out this!
Yuck! Yuck! Yuck!
At least it was dead.
But it was huge and hairy and disgusting  😦
Phoebe was lighting the fires so we gathered it up and cremated it.
At least I know the poisoning in the house is working.
Unlike the Cottage which is depressingly over run by the varmits at the moment.
It will be good to have someone in residence to keep the poisoning up to speed and get on top of them all again.
Seb helped load my truck.
I brought out all the boxes of curriculum I could find plus the rest of my art stuff.
The pile of recycling still remains as I just could not face going through it.
Next time there is an empty truck it can make the journey.
Jutta came up from the boat to say hi before leaving with Sandra & Phil.
They had caught a butterfish which Phil donated to me – another fresh fish, yum 🙂
Thank so much Sandra & Phil.
It was a humungous help having you come over.
I don’t think I could’ve got it all done without you xxxxxGave David & Diana last minute instructions before we left.
It was close on 5pm when we finally pulled up the drive.
Several hours later than I had hoped.
We were exhausted.
Last view of the farm as we drove over the cattle stop.
Azzan & I had picked some spring flowers before leaving.
We stopped at Tim’s cairn.
He couldn’t bring me daphne so I brought some to him.
While there Azzan picked a container of gorse flowers.
He wants to make gorse flower wine with Sasha.
I got coerced into helping fill his container.
The flowers smell really lovely.
Shame about the prickles.
The sun was setting as we drove along Admiralty Bay.
So lovely, I was actually pleased to see it disappearing as it had been blinding me on the corners.
More spring sign today.
Twin lambs that had not long been born as we passed St Kilda.
We drove non-stop and got home around 8pm.
Only unloaded the fish, flowers and silver beet.
The rest can wait!
Too tired.
Shanni filleted the butterfish for me.
But she is used to filleting blue cod and I think the process may be a bit different.
However she got most of the flesh ready for me to cook up tomorrow.
Next time – hopefully there will be a next time 😉  – Phil, could you please use your years of expertise and fillet the fish properly for me??
Fell into bed.
That was a really big mission!
So glad we decided to go down last night. 

Saturday 22nd August

Mahalia was gone to rowing just before 7:30am.
We had a pretty chilled start to the day.
Sylvia messaged at 9:30am to see if I wasn’t to meet for coffee.
We were both still in pjs so agreed to make it 11am.
Azzan biked off to his tennis coaching at 10am.
I had a lovely long chat to Christine C while reclining on my pillows.
Then all of a sudden I realised the time so curtailed the conversation and raced through the shower.
Mahalia was back just as I was about to walk out the door.
I got to the Sprig at 11am and Martin & Sylvia arrived soon after.
It wasn’t busy so we got an indoor table and ordered some drinks and a scone.
Spent a very pleasant hour or so chatting.
They had just returned from a boat cruise in the northern Australian realms and had been able to catch up with Jesika on their way through Perth which was super cool.
So lots to catch up on 🙂
We wandered back to the house so they could say g’day to Mahalia before leaving.
Azzan was back from tennis and getting jobs done.
I’d told him that if we got stuff done then we could drive to Waterfall Bay tonight instead of doing a fast day trip tomorrow.
So he was motivated and in action!
After they left I shot off to get some stuff for Seb and a few groceries.
Then around 5pm we left town and headed to Waterfall Bay.
The sun was going down already by the time we got to Okiwi Bay.
Azzan wanted to walk along the beach so I dropped him at one end and waited at the other.
The twilight was very pretty.
We had to stop a few times on the way!
Azzan commented to me – “God really shouldn’t have made this planet with so many photo opportunities!” 🙂
I met a vehicle at the wrong place and totally freaked out at being too close to the edge.
Man! I hate this road.
I realise that I drive it with a knot of anguish curled up in my belly.
My whole body tense with an innate fear that releases immediately I see any sign of imminent danger.

It was great to finally arrive to a warm and welcoming home.
Phoebe was making a cake with the assistance of her chief taster.
We had a delicious dinner.
The others all enjoyed roast mutton chops.
But I had the wonderful pleasure of devouring fresh blue cod, caught this afternoon especially for me by Phoebe & Sapphie.
It was so incredibly good.
I can’t remember when I last had some.
Thanks girls – it was well worth the drive down!
After dinner it was shower time for Sapphire.
She is such a wee comic.
After shower comedienne 🙂
Finally some probed hugs with Uncle Zani and she was off to nigh nighs.
We were all very close behind.
After coffee & cake first though 😉

Friday 21st August

Bit of a chilly start to the day.
Discovered that the hot water in the gas supplied bathroom was zilch.
Not even just running cold – but totally dry, nadda, nought!
Thank goodness for the second shower which is heated by electricity and wetback.
I dived through that in between trying to levitate Azzan’s body from his bed.
He already had his lunch ready so saw no need to rouse too early or too fast from between his sheets.
The kids all headed off to their respective institutions which left me free for the morning.
I had called the plumber and he was in the area so I stuck around home until he arrived at 11-ish.
While he was fixing the problem David & Sasha arrived.
Sasha was desperately looking for a sofa to lie on for a while.
She has done her neck in again and was in a lot of pain and needing to lie down.
So I cuddled her all up with warm cuddly blankets on the sofa and left Dave to tend to her.
Because I was home alone and had the doors open for Caspian to be able to play outside I hadn’t bothered to light the fire or turn on heaters and the house was a bit cool, especially the living room which I just keep shut off when unused.
Troy fixed the water problem fairly quickly.
It appeared to have been a short, which may have been caused by power fluctuations.
After enduring many many years of extreme power fluctuations whilst living at the end of the grid I was unaware that we would have this problem in town – bummer!
I was very grateful to have the hot water up and running again so easily.
David & Sasha headed home once she was feeling up to travelling back to her bed.

My just around the corner neighbour and I had been trying to meet up for coffee for a while, so decided today was the day.
I took Caspian with me and we met up with Glynnie at 1pm at the Sprig.
We sat out on the deck in the fresh air – it was cool but not freezing.
We were all rugged up and the staff put on the heater so it was actually quite pleasant.
Caspian loved meeting Glynnie, she has doggie smells from her work at The Nelson Ark 🙂
He spent the arvo being fussed over by other guests as they came and went.
One of the Sprig girls was also very enamoured by him so made big fusses over him each time she came out to the deck.
He apparently had been ‘talking’ to her through our fence when she walks past to work.
She had thought his bark was from a much bigger dog, so that’s great, serves my purpose in having my guard dog 😉
Of course he just lay back and lapped up all the attention 🙂

Glenn & I chatted the arvo away.
Solving all the earthily problems and putting the world to rights 🙂
She loves politics, got a degree in Russian just for fun!
I am the least interested person in politics so our combination caused some hilarity.
The time disappeared as we shared life stories, with tears, and laughter.
I don’t tell Tim’s story in depth much these days so it really caught me by surprise as to how much intensity I am still feeling from the night of his accident.
Every detail still so incredibly clear in my mind as the nightmare unfolded.
It welled up with the retelling and the anger exploded into tears :-/
Before we knew it the afternoon had disappeared.
Glynnie wanted to catch the library before it closed so we said our goodbyes and I walked home with Caspian who was frustrated from not getting a decent walk.
Azzan had biked home from school, got changed, had a feed and then walked to youth group.
Mahalia was also home and popped up to say hullo to us.

I felt sorry for Caspian so went for a walk with him just on dusk.
It’s really lovely out at that time of night.

We had a quiet night in and then just after 9pm I drove down to pick up Azzan from youth group.
He was buzzing.
Really enjoyed his night.

Thursday 20th August

I had taken the morning off the pager today.
Was very grateful that one of my team members was able to cover for me.
But wouldn’t you know it – a call came in, so I missed out on a job, again!
I had booked myself into an Art Journal class which was being held over two consecutive Thursday mornings.
I had a couple of things to do on the way so left Caspian with Nathan and whizzed off to get them done.
Arrived just on 10am, but as I had already met Ronnie and I knew where I was going etc, I feeling quite relaxed.
I quickly unloaded all my stuff and found a place at the table and the morning of fun began.
It was a basic intro to journaling, we spent the morning playing, making different backgrounds.
It was stuff I had done years ago but it was really good to just get in and refresh again.
Its been a while since I had paint on my hands and it felt really great 🙂
There were only 6 of us doing the workshop so nice and easy, although not as ‘friendly’ as the previous group.

Back on pager at 1pm.
But it was quiet from then on so all was good.
Came home for a short time.

Mary-Anne messaged to say she and Cully were off for a walk so Caspian and I met them down the street and we made our way to Neale Park.
Caspian was very pleased to see Cully 🙂
It was cool out but we were all wrapped up warm.
The ground underfoot was very wet and squidgy.
We walked all round the sports ground, over to the back of the motorway and then along the train tracks.
It felt very springlike, the cherry trees were blossoming profusely.IMG_8556IMG_8557
When we arrived home Caspian was so muddy.
Azzan bathed him for me in the washhouse.
He looked a bit forlorn, but much cleaner afterwards.
I had bought him this wee fabric kennel at the op shop this morning but he thinks it is preferable to sleep on top of it rather than inside!

Shoshannah had been home studying all day but had gone out for a walk so dinner was left up in the air.
Consequently I asked Mahalia & Azzan to start making the stirfry for dinner.
It was meant to be a nacho sauce so Mahalia made up the vege part of it and then Azzan fried up the mince.
Shanni returned home around same time as me.
Things were a bit fractious in the kitchen so I left them to it.
To tired to deal with kids altercations tonight.
I drove Shoshannah over to Tahunanui to her 6pm appointment.
While she was busy I zipped down and visited John & Sally.
Good to catch up with them before then headed off on a south island sojourn business trip 🙂
Picked up Shanni and came home.
Persuaded Caspian to sleep inside his new kennel – he half obliged 😉