Thursday 17th September

Today would’ve been Tim’s 66th birthday.
I recently found some photos from several 2005 holidays whilst packing up the house and amongst them were these.
Tim loved to get out up the hills.
Especially if it involved a trip with one or many of his children.
This was a trip up Mt Richmond with Nathan and Uncle Lloyd.
Don’t they both look so happy?
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I well remember this occasion as he took great delight in calling me from the top of the mountain and Lloyd recorded that historic event.
Tim was not one to use cell phones so this was worth recording.
I sure wish he could call me today.
10:05MtRichmond 6

I love this photo.
It was taken just a month after Tim’s 56th birthday and 5 days before Nathan’s 10th birthday.10:05MtRichmond 17 copy
A month or so back I spotted a painting by one of my favourite artists – Sirpa Alalääkkölä.
An artist whose work I have admired for many years.
But when I saw this painting I was stunned.
I messaged her immediately because it looked so like Tim back in the 70’s.
I could swear she had seen a photo of him, it was uncanny.
So after some communication she arranged to drop it off for me to view.
Yesterday she brought it here.
This morning I told her she couldn’t have it back 😉
To which she replied  Im glad that you decided to keep the painting. When we put it up there I felt that the painting “had come Home”
So now I wait for some help to hang it so it can be properly at home 🙂
This is my birthday present to celebrate Tim’s birthday.

Mahalia left for her 5:30am rowing before I was awake.
In fact for the first time I slept through her rising.
Shanni took the car and went off to her building site as it was out of town.
I stayed in my bed until Azzan left for school.
Mahalia flew in the door after 8am.
I heated up her porridge and made her some lunch as she has such a short turn around time before she needs to be out the door to her course.

I had planned to be up and ready early but got side tracked with emails and phone calls.
I was endeavouring to keep tears at bay, but not terribly successfully.
Keeping busy with the kids stuff helps but as soon as I stop any little thing triggers me and I lose it.
Finally had to race through the shower just before 9:30am to get out the door in time.
Nathan & I zipped over to visit Roni at 10am.
We were going to grab a take out cuppa from Styx but the barista/manager friend of Nathan’s was late to work so he stayed and waited for her to arrive while I went on ahead up to Roni’s apartment.
Nathan made the most of his waiting time to tutor assist the young barman in the art of making coffee 😉
Finally he arrived with our drinks and a delicious savoury muffin for my breakfast.
We had a most enjoyable and very informative visit.
Got a few things sorted re Nathan’s impending exodus from New Zealand’s shores.
All of a sudden hit me that there really isn’t many weeks left with his company.
I am really going to miss him.

We had planned to have lunch together – our way to celebrate.
So we drove up to Nahm.
Had heard good things about it so thought wed give it a try.
I wasn’t feeling terribly well, sorta headachy and sick.
Possibly just tired and recovering from stressful few weeks.
Nathan opted for the crispy pork sir fry and I got the crispy chicken stir fry with cashew nuts.
They were absolutely delicious meals.
Perfect size, delightfully presented, economical, and very tasty.
I made the mistake of ordering a desert as it sounded rather good.
However, it wasn’t as good as it looked.
I didn’t enjoy it at all :-/
We came home, checked on the puppy, Nathan got his gym clothes and then we left again.
I dropped him off near the gym and then went to find Mahalia.
She had finished NMIT early so we hit the Farmers big Thursday sale.
I really wanted to be home in bed but had already organised to meet Azzan here after school so figured I may was well get Mahalia’s shopping done while I waited for him.
We got her well stocked up on some necessary items so she was happy.
Then we popped over to visit Bedelia quickly.
It was buzzing at the shop, bumped into Kim so had a quick catch up with her too which was nice.
Then we met up with Azzan.
Mahalia waited in the car while he chose his socks etc.
Gabrielle & Jack were also catching the sale so great to chat with her briefly while the boys shopped.
Azzan was intent on going off to his church catch up group so he didn’t muck about.
Mahalia and I were really tired so came straight home.
I fell onto my bed and spent most of the rest of the afternoon and evening there.
When Shanni brought the car home Nathan went off to pick lemons and came home with some for me and a large bag of silver beet.
He then went off to have dinner with Sasha & David.
I had planned to have a special dinner tonight but no one seemed terribly interested so I didn’t bother.
We all ate left overs as we felt inclined for dinner.
Mahalia had a cooking session.
She found Azzan’s Little India cookbook and made up some vegetarian dishes she’d been wanting to try.
The rest of us discovered it was advantageous to stay out of the kitchen while this was happening 😉

Wednesday 16th September

I got some frankfurters out of the freezer and constructed an interesting casserole with onions & apples and tomatoes with chilli beans.
Left them to bubble away all day.
Sirpa called in to drop of something for me to decide on.
We chatted for a while.
It was really good to finally meet her.
We have been Sounds ‘neighbours’ for years but never met until here in Nelson.

Anson came by to drop off some papers and do some chainsawing for me.
The men from Mitre 10 arrived with my water feature.
Perfect timing while Anson was able to assist them.
It is very large so took some effort to get from the truck to the deck.
I have it sitting on the deck at the moment until the landscaping is finished.
Then it will be lowered down off the deck and will nestle into the landscaped area better.
But in the meantime I have it functioning so I can enjoy it immediately.
When I first showed Nathan the photos of it he described it as being very primal.
I like that.
It is the very simple shapes and warm earthy tones that appeal to me.
Anson did the chainsawing I wanted done.
Then I left him talking to Nathan as I zoomed out the gate.
I had made an appointment at NMIT with Mahalia to visit a tutor and discuss her options for next year.
It took a while to find a park and thankfully I phoned her as I was walking to the main entrance because she had forgotten and was off up town with her friends.
She raced back and met up with me and Pauline.
We had a really good discussion and now Mahalia has some informed choices to make.
She headed back to class and I went home for an hour or so.
Then it was off up the hill to Prep for Azzan’s teacher interviews.
I was early so sat and rested till it was my turn.
I ascertained that he is settling in really well.
He is doing very well socially.
He is also participating in class discussions in a respectful, intelligent and considered manner which is being appreciated by his classmates.
Unfortunatley I felt the interview was very rushed and I left feeling unfinished, frustrated and rather upset.
Then onto his math teacher.
I was really concerned about this part of his work but was so relived to hear he is doing very well.
He is working incredibly hard and picking up concepts quickly.
His teacher was very pleased with him.
Wonderful 🙂

I got home and filled Azzan in on all the comments.
The kids all seemed to be happy and busy and occupied so I decided to take myself off to the movies.
I wanted to see the Bill Bryson story  ‘A Walk in the Woods’.
The trailer had looked good.
Of course the major reason for going to the movies is to get a chocolate dipped vanilla ice cream cone isn’t it? 😉
I got my ticket at 6pm and sat and waited until a few minutes before the movie to buy the ice cream.
You can’t possible eat one before the movie begins!!
And actually tonight it was the best part of the evening.
This review pretty much sums it up.
The film had potential to be good but it was downright boring.
Bit of a waste of an evening and the dollars spent.

Tuesday 15th September

The kids all got themselves ready and headed off to their respective institutions.
Mahalia had to leave quite early as her class was going river rafting in the river near Murchison so her bus left at 8am.
I had a 10am appointment at the bank so was trying to get all my paperwork in order.
I didn’t have time nor the appetite for breakfast so just grabbed an apple as I was heading out the door.
I dropped Caspian off at Mary-Anne’s and then stopped off to pay a couple of bills at Dr and Physio.
Had to park down a side street I normally don’t stop in.
Found this delightful wee place which looks like it has been recently done up.
Such a cutie.
Made a  phone call to the surveyor on the way to the bank.
She had some news but it was another stumbling block.
Why on earth can’t things just move smoothly.
I am so sick of red tape and politics, all it does is create stress, and extra unnecessary cost.
Had a good business meeting afterwards.
Alleviated a huge amount of stress.
I feel like I can breath again now – such a relief.

Finally got homebound 11:30am.
Had a chat with Nathan and then zipped off to pick up Tracey.
She came with me for a drive out to Bunnings.
They had a dwarf pear I was wanting.
Also found a small cherry tree and some silver beet plants.
The women who served us was ‘interesting’ to say the least.
Couldn’t believe it actually.
She announced that she was not normally in the garden section so didn’t know answers to what I was asking and didn’t seem that interested in finding someone who did know.
Then when I asked for a plastic bag to put around the plants she told me off for not bringing my own!
There were plenty of small boxes behind her and all I wanted was one to go underneath each tree like I’d been given last week when buying the other trees, but she made me feel I was a naughty school girl for not thinking ahead, instead of a valued customer who had actually bought far more than I had intended so was therefore beneficial to the company who pays her wages!

Tracey and I scarpered from there shaking our heads at her incredibly rude behaviour.
Drove over to Mitre 10 Mega and went to find Colin in the garden section.
I had been doing a lot of homework for some time re water features within my landscaping planning.
I had been scoping them online from all over for ages and found this particular one about a month ago here that I really liked.
I had spoken to Colin about it as he was head of the department.
He had told me to come back the following Tuesday and he would do some homework to see what sort of deal he could do for me.
I never managed to make it back until last Saturday when I took Azzan there.
The water feature was still there so I took photos and came back to think some more as to if it would work.
Decided today that it would so went back to talk turkey with Colin.
He thought I’d done a runner as it was a good three weeks since I’d first talked to him.
Can’t rush things, especially when life takes over.
Tracey & I went and had a cuppa at the cafe while he talked it over with his boss.
He was very keen for me to have it so came back to me and we negotiated a very good deal, with Tracey’s help 😉
Clinched that at the counter and left him to organise delivery.
We stopped off at the tile shop so I could show Tracey the tiles I’m wanting.
She agreed, they will work perfectly with it.
All very exciting, things are falling into place nicely.
I can see the landscaping ideas as they form in my head so its cool to find just the right thing.
Happy dances 🙂
I dropped Tracey off and whizzed back to pick up Caspian.
But he was having such a lovely time Mary-Anne suggested he should stay longer.
I went home and parked up the car.
I walked up to the Loveday Clinic for my 3pm therapuetic massage with Sarah.
I had postponed it from several weeks ago and it was the first opportunity since then.
Perfect timing as it was very much needed.
Felt so good when I left and hour and a half later.
Called in to pick up Caspian.
He had found a squeaky toy and was having heaps of fun.
Had to get back to the kids as they were all home by now.
Azzan was very tired so I canceled his Sea Cadets for tonight.
Instead he worked away at his maths homework, tidied his room and had an early night.
Mahalia had really enjoyed her rafting day.
I was so glad I’d made the large chicken casserole yesterday.
Plenty left over for tonight.
I had bought some freshly dug new potatoes from Nin’s stall next door so devoured them with it.
There is nothing like fresh new boiled potatoes with butter and chives or parsley.
Nathan went off to German and pick dup Shanni from Youth Group so they didn’t get home till after 9;30pm.

Monday 14th September

Frustratingly I woke around 3am and never got back to sleep.
Oh dear, beginning of a very long day.
Mahalia’s alarm went off at 4:30am.
The first of the beginning of her 5:30am starts for the rowing season.
She was off on her bike around 5:15am.
I got up and made the porridge for Azzan at 7am and then left him to make his own lunch.
He was all ready to head out the door just after 7:30am.
When I suggested that he was leaving way too early he insisted that he needed to go so he could play handball with his friends.
I opened up the kitchen doors and let Caspian run free while I had my shower.
Nathan left around 8:30am so the house was very quiet very quickly this morning.
Shoshannah had a late start due to a double study so was able to sleep in a bit.
I made a chicken casserole in the slow cooker and left it to do its thing.
Nice to have dinner prepared early – alleviates major stress later in the day.
I dropped her off in town on my way to my 9:45am counselling session.
I was feeling really stressed about taking time away from home as I really needed to settle down and get the banking done.
I didn’t want to be there and that was picked up quite quickly.
But the session ended up going well and I was able to talk out my frustrations and stresses so wasn’t all bad.
I went straight back home to a happy puppy.
I had a couple of hours at home but still wasn’t able to concentrate enough to get much paperwork done.
Preset the rice cooker so the rice would be cooked for Azzan when he got home.
I shot up to Founders just before 1am to meet Helen and her young kiddies.
She was visiting Nelson for the day and wanting to connect to talk about some home ed stuff.
There is a good secure playground beside the cafe there so perfect place for her three to let off steam while we talked.
Sylvia arrived with a group of ladies so after Helen left I chatted with them for a few minutes.
Returned home at 3pm.
So glad I had dinner all ready when Azzan arrived in around 3:30pm as he was hungry and only had a 30 minute window before he had to leave again.
I took Caspian and walked up the street with Azzan to Luka’s house.
Renata was taking both boys to basketball tonight.
They are now playing the semi finals – thankfully the end of season is in sight.
Whizzed back home, stopping briefly to chat with Ursula.
Then zipped into Warehouse Stationery to pick up something that Shanni’s out of town friend needs for school tomorrow.
Checked in with Mahalia.
She was just finished at Kip McGrath.
I knew she would be weary after her early start so I messaged her to meet me at Tank Juice Bar.
We haven’t had a stop there in ages so I shouted us both a Caribbean smoothie.
A delicious way to get through the rest of the afternoon.
I dropped her back home.
Phoebe & Sapphie had just stopped off on their way home so they went in with Mahalia and sampled some of my casserole.
I knew there was many reasons for getting that cooking early today 😉
I zoomed around to Tahunanui to pick up Shoshannah, just beating the 5pm rush hour traffic.
She had taken the bus from school to her 4:15pm appointment, had hopped off the bus too soon so had gotten a tad lost.
I had been able to google map her whereabouts and get her back on track, but she was very tired and the extra unnecessary walking up hills was rather frustratingly exhausting for her.
I arrived just as she had finished and we drove straight home – thankfully going against the traffic which by now was bumper to bumper around Rocks Road.
Nathan was home with a few top up groceries for us, and Azzan was back from basketball.
So those of us who were hungry again and those of us who had not yet eaten enjoyed the chicken casserole.
The kids got themselves all ready for tomorrow and headed off to bed reasonably early.
I finally settled in at my desk.
Went through Mahalia’s rowing paperwork and got that all completed before attacking the accounts.
I have had a huge knot gnawing deep in my gut for weeks now.
Trying to keep the stress levels down by trying not to think about things I can’t deal with.
I’ve been shelving the things I can’t deal with and doing the things I can.
Putting order into my life and managing simple things like the garden and house has been all I can do.
Not a great coping strategy, but all I can manage to keep sane.
I feel like I am drowning right now.
Only just managing to keep my head above water but with such a huge weight on my shoulders that at times it feels like I’m gasping for breath as the waves roll over me.
I spent a few hours trying to make sense of things and then packed it in for the night.
I huddled under my duvet, reading my book while waiting for my electric blanket to warm me up.
It took ages.
Then I remembered something else that needed to be recorded so I shot out to the computer and added it, knowing I wouldn’t sleep well in case I forgot it in the morning.
Finally around midnight I managed to drift off to sleep……..

Sunday 13th September

Mahalia went off rowing around 8am.
Azzan biked into town to meet Georgia around 9am.
They had arranged to hang out at the market, take artistic photos and get TANK smoothie on the condition he was home by 11am.
It was a beautiful morning so I threw open all the doors, let the puppy run free and eventually headed into the shower.
I had barely gotten dressed when Katherine arrived.
I was in slow disorganised mode.
Not the best way to begin the day of your daughter’s 18th birthday when you are throwing a surprise party.
Katherine cranked up the vacuum cleaner, and got Shanni’s room all ready for her return.
Then she got busy in the kitchen.
Cutting veggies sticks and arranging dip platters etc.
Seb arrived with a truck load of stuff from home.
Thankfully Azzan & Mahalia had just returned home so I got them to make room in the garage for it all.
Phoebe & Sapphie were close behind, Nathan appeared too, and soon the kitchen was buzzing.
We were all falling over each other.
I was trying to clear away all the junk off & around the kitchen table.
Jillian & Colin popped in to say hullo after church, not realising there was a party in the happening.
Tried to convince them to stay but they had prior engagement.
Jillian helped race all the dishes through the washing/drying process while I showed Colin what we had been doing in the garden.
Katherine was making humus but hadn’t done it before so was taking ages until I came to her aid.
Lemons – need more.
Call Mary-Anne – yes she has plenty 🙂
Azzan took Caspian and posted a letter on his way down the street to get the lemons.
Then the cashew aioli which Shanni usually makes herself – recipe?
Call Sunniva for help – no reply :-/
Oh thats right – kids remember – use her RawTillFour app.
Found the recipe but can’t find lid to Vitamix which had only been washed a short time ago.
Make it in the kitchen whizz.
Then Phoebe carries on with it in Vitamix holding a bowl on as a lid – improvisation at its best.
Phoebe prepares the sausages and venison nibbles – cut, fry and grill and put on skewers.
Three of Shanni’s international friends arrived.
It was lovely to have them – they were the only ones from her group of friends who could actually make it.
All the others were either away or busy or damaged which was a shame.
A lady arrived to collect some books in the midst of all this and I greeted her with, ‘Do I know you and how do you fit into Shanni’s friend list!
Oh that’s right – the books!!’
In the other corner of the kitchen Azzan is blowing up balloons and then I see where they are all going.
Priceless usage of the small hallway entrance to his bedroom.
A balloon pit for Sapphie – she’s happy 🙂
Sapphie also discovered Uncle Zani’s drum kit and displayed some natural rhythm.
She can really rock the beat – I think we might have a wee star in the making!
Around the prearranged time of 1pm people began arriving.
Sasha & David picked Shanni up from the airport at 12:55pm and side tracked to the Tahunanui Sprig & Fern for a celebratory drink on the way home in an attempt to delay arrival by a few minutes for me as the kitchen was still in a slight state of chaos.
We managed to get everything cleaned up and the food out on the table, under the umbrella which Martin & Mahalia had gotten sorted due to the extreme summer-like temperatures which were streaming down on us!
Azzan & Mahalia had strung a few balloons around and we were all waiting on the birthday girl.
Sasha was texting me as they approached so everyone was tucked out in the front garden out of sight.

Shanni was pretty weary from her few days away but after a few minutes of catching up and calmly getting her through the house I led her out to the deck.

Rest of the afternoon was full of food and fun in the sun.
A brisk wind came up and threatened to take our umbrella so Dave improvised and tied it to a chair with the dog lead.
I must remember to buy a roll of string.
That is something we were never short of on the farm!!
First there were three, then four, and then five pretty maids in a row 🙂
Katherine made the cake but the wind kept blowing out the sparklers.

It was lovely to have the 3 wee cousins here together.
Sapphie so loved Aaliyah’s soft and kissable wee face.
She spent ages loving her.
It was funny to watch Eden & Sapphie.
Usually Aunty Shanni’s singing bear is Sapphie’s absolute favourite toy when visiting here.
But today she had to share cuz Eden got it first.
She was very good about it 🙂
People all began heading off later in the arvo.
It was such a lovely afternoon.
Thank you to all of you who were able to come.
Martin & Sylvia, John & Sally, Alan, Simone, Alexandra & Lucas, Katherine, Grace, Margaret & Dave, Leah, Seb, Phoebe & Sapphie, Marah, Eden & Aaliyah (sad Anson had to work- we missed you) and David & Sasha 🙂
Logan had come to visit too so he and Mahalia took Caspian off for a walk around 5pm.
By the time everyone left I was absolutely exhausted and collapsed on the sofa with a hot drink while Phoebe & Sapphie had a shower.
Then after they left I finished cleaning up the kitchen and dealing with the left over food.
No one was particularly interested in eating dinner so we just helped ourselves to whatever we felt like.
Shanni was in bed around 7:30pm.
Mahalia was getting ready for her 5:30am rowing starts which begin tomorrow so her lights were out soon after 8pm.
I tucked Azzan in and was in bed myself before 9pm.

Saturday 12th September

When you find a bruise of such proportions on your foot and you cannot remember how it got there.
Should you be concerned?
I only noticed it a couple of days ago and its size and colour has increased but my memory of how it got to begin hasn’t 😕

I had primed the kids that today was working bee day.
Forecast was good and we were all home – for most of the day anyway.
Mahalia zipped off to rowing at 7:30am and then Azzan to tennis at 10am.
I took these before photos before we began.
We haven’t done anything to the front yard over winter.
I have also been waiting for the continuation of the landscape building process but due to constraints of time, materials and money I have taken a slight rain check.
Am hoping to continue with this by next month.
In the meantime ideas are growing and developing.
I have been able to close my mind to it all but now Spring has sprung I can’t any longer.
Especially since the last windstorm has created even more disarray.
The wind tore through here and ripped out staples and a lot of the fence lining was spread around the yard.
The weeds are beginning to come through and the place was really looking unkempt and unloved.
Timber from the deck alterations was still laying about.

Nathan got the ladder and cleaned out the gutters first.
Then he and Mahalia moved all the timber and restacked it out the back.
Azzan arrived home and helped for a while and then went in and cleaned the kitchen and made fresh apple juice which was gratefully received as it was hot working in the sun.
We cleared & dug along the fence line and the kids weeded.
We dug, raked and even out the ground all around.
Nathan did battle with the tree roots and managed to make a hole big enough to plant our dwarf Blush Babe apple tree.

One by one they drifted away until it was just me left out there.
I planted the 4 dwarf citrus trees.
Along the back I have 2 grapefruit – Star Ruby and Golden Special which both fruit August – November and grow to around 1.5-2m wide and high
Beside them I have a Harwood Late Orange which fruits late autumn/early winter.
Then in front I have planted a Lemonade which grows to around 1.2m and fruits all year round.
Then beside that is a Mandarin Encore which fruits Nov-Feb.
So along with the ancient but now reviving Meyer lemon tree in the corner that should supply us with fruit year round  🙂
My plan is to make this area an edible garden.
Around 3 I decided to go check out some more trees so I washed up, changed my shoes and Azzan and I raced off to Mitre 10.
Checked out what they had.
Azzan thought this seat was pretty cool.
At $1800 it was staying in the shop!
Then over to Bunnings to look at their fruit trees.
Got a dwarf orange tree and a dwarf peach.
Then called into New World to stock up on a few groceries before coming home.
Mahalia had been very busy while we were gone and the yard was all swept and tidy and looked amazing.
I put my gardening shoes back on and planted the two trees.
The Garden Lady dwarf peach has freestone yellow fleshed fruit and grows to about 2m.
I’m now on the lookout for about 3 or 4 more dwarf fruit trees so watch this space.
I was rather weary so ran a bath and soaked for an hour or two whilst watching some episodes Anzac Girls.
It is brilliant, griping, a much watch series.
Finally emerged from my hydrous repose to find Mahalia had made a delicious pasta dish for dinner.
Azzan had peeled all the pears ands cooked them up.
I took my dinner and reclined in bed and watched the rest of the Anzac Girls series.
It is a very moving series, accurately portrayed history.
Not pretty but war isn’t.
Incredibly moving.
Mahalia was off to bed early and I managed to get Azzan settled around 10pm-ish then finished watching the series.
It was too compelling to stop!

Friday 11th September

Today I didn’t need to be up early so I stayed in bed.
Well, actually I zipped out to the kitchen briefly sometime after 7am and got the porridge cooking and made sure Azzan hadn’t slept in.
Then I left him to get himself organised and went back to bed and wallowed in the sunshine that was pouring in my windows.
Have I mentioned before that I love love love my bedroom and the gorgeous windows.
Just in case I haven’t or just in case you have missed it – mentioning it here again – love my windows 😉

I took the opportunity to have a catch up call with Gay as I hadn’t talked with her in ages.
Since she moved from around the corner to across the river we don’t see as much of her as before.
Then all of a sudden it was 10am and I was still in bed and Glynnie was messaging to say when would be at the Sprig at 11am.
Time to rattle the dags.
I sped through the shower and was out the door and up to the Sprig right on the dot of 11am.
And she was late 😉
Actually she would’ve been on time but got waylaid by several aunts along the way.
It was such a glorious Spring morning we sat out on the deck in the sunshine and enjoyed our scones and coffees.
The air temp was still cool though so I was glad I had taken my jacket.
The time flies when I spend it with Glynnie.
We laugh, and cry – well not all the time, we talk, discuss politics – well she pontificates and I half listen cuz I’m not into politics, we share life and just enjoy getting to know each other.
She’s one cool lady.
After we had spent several hours putting the world to rights we wandered back home.
Caspian was pretty pleased to see her.
He could smell her other doggy friends on her.
Mahalia was at home today so had been looking after him.
Glynnie had some cuddles and a tour of the abode before heading off to do her own thing.
I did some sorting of the boxes of curricula that have been invading my kitchen to try and make some order amidst the chaos.
Started sorting out other boxes too.
So much junk.
Have got to get rid of it.
I keep finding little things, things that really need to go, but then I start remembering the memories around them and they stay a while longer.

Azzan arrived back from school, had a feed and then walked to youth group.
He normally stays longer and I pick him up at 9pm.
However tonight I got a cal to say he was too tired and was coming home soon after 5:30pm.
Mahalia and I had been planning to walk the pup so we got organised quickly and headed off to meet him.
I hadn’t realised it had started raining, and raining rather heavily at this point, so we grabbed coats and brolly and steamed off up the road.
We met Azzan near Green Gables Rest Home.
We carried on walking around the block as we were in full flight mode and it was a great night to walk.
The rain wasn’t too heavy by now and the kids were in great spirits.
By the time we were approaching the home straight it was dusk.
This absolutely beautiful tree is not far from us.
I’m figuring it is a type of magnolia.
Azzan walking in the middle of the street catching raindrops on his face.
Home for some dinner and off to bed.

Thursday 10th September

A very wet yucky morning.
Shanni was up early.
Had her bags packed, her breakfast eaten and her washing on and still had heaps of time up her sleeve.
Azzan had a large load in his backpack for his crepe making session so was not terribly keen on biking.
He organised a ride so clad in his raincoat and sheltering under an umbrella (under protestation, but at least it was a black one!) he sploshed off down the street to meet Luka and his Mum.
Mahalia flew out the door half an hour later as she was dropping off her job application on her way to NMIT.
I had opted to go back in for the next jury selection so had a good reason not to get conned sucked into driving kids to class 😉
Nathan was a bit tardy about getting up so Shanni was threatening to drive herself to the airport and parking the car and letting him walk over to collect it later.
However, he managed to stagger forth before that happened and he drove her to the airport to catch her plane to Christchurch.
She was very excited, the months of anticipation were finally here.
After everyone had gone I left Caspian and braved the weather myself.
Had to park a distance away as I didn’t know how long I would be there for.
It was all very familiar this time.
5 of us had opted to return so I chatted with them as they arrived.
With us talking already it seemed to break the silence of the uncertain crowd of strangers.
Someone rocked up and greeted me by name.
I didn’t recognise her but she had spotted me on Tuesday.
An old D’Urville Island ‘neighbour’ from over 28 years ago.
My goodness, I was really scraping the dark recesses to recall their family.
So much water has flown under the bridge and these days it flows so fast I struggle to keep up at times.
It was really lovely to sit and talk with her as we waited.
Then we were all called in and the ballet done.
I was not selected this time so as we left Cherry-Ann suggested we go have coffee seeing as the rest of the morning was free.
I parked back at home and battled the elements with my brolly, skipped back through the puddles and the driving rain to the Sprig & Fern.
We enjoyed some fresh scones and hot drinks and talked a whole heap more.
Nathan found us there so joined the party just before we left.
So cool to reconnect and find another friend.
Plans afoot to keep in touch which I am looking forward to.
Back home to a very muddy puppy.
I thought he would be hiding in the washhouse out of the rain, but no, he has found great delight in playing in the dirtiest muddiest areas of the section.
Consequently my kitchen floor does not look the cleanest anymore :-/
Pete arrived soon after so I put the kettle on and we chatted over a cup of tea.
I hadn’t been able to get to Chris’s funeral so it was extra good to see him and catch up on the intervening months.
He had other family to go see so he mozied off an hour later.
The kids began arriving home so the rest of the afternoon disappeared in talking about our days and preparing for dinner etc.
Nathan made a big beef hotpot but we decided to use up the leftovers tonight and leave that for tomorrow.
He made a pan of fried rice to go with the Chicken casserole.
I had plans to attack my office work this afternoon but as the day progressed it got shelved.
So I gave up on that idea after dinner and decided to have an early night.
I was sound asleep when my phone roused me suddenly.
Darn it – forgot to turn it off.
It was a highly excited daughter who had just been to the Imagine Dragons concert in Christchurch.
She was bouncing on Cloud 10 over how marvellous it had been!!
I managed to slur out my maternal seal of approval & promise to talk in the morning when the ability would be greater,  before shutting off the phone and rolling over back to sleep.


Wednesday 9th September

It was so good to sleep well and wake at 5:30am without a headache.
I was up soon after 6:30am.
Woke Azzan before I had my shower so I didn’t have to go through the dramatics of sleeping in and running late.
Even though he was still in bed at 7am his disposition was much sweeter so my plan worked 😉

It was a much less stressful morning today.
For some reason Azzan was in no panic to leave.
Most unusual.
I eventually had to give him the boot out the door at 8:20am.
Then Mahalia & Nathan both left for NMIT and work around 8:30am.
I finished cleaning up, got Caspian sorted and was gone by 9am.
Im feeling a lot better today.
I think the good nights sleep has helped immensely.
I still have a bit of a chesty cough but it is manageable.
I spent the day locked in at the courthouse and was finally released later in the afternoon.

It was a glorious day outside.
I trundled back home and found Mahalia here with two of her friends.
Mahalia had rowing so she got herself organised for that.
She was very excited about her acheived distances when I returned later.
Shanni was home next followed closely by Azzan.
Shoshannah is packing in preparation for her trip to Christchurch and the Imagine Dragons concert.
I am so envious – would love to be going with her.

I relaxed for a wee while and then left Azzan getting ready for his French class tomorrow.
They are apparently making crepes and because the boys have sussed out his ability to present things well he has been designated to do the toppings.
I was asked to grab some glacé cherries and whipped cream from the supermarket for him.
Because after all, ‘glacé cherries are French Mum’!
I then went on to our monthly team supervision meeting at work.
Back home soon after 7:30pm.
Shanni was on the phone and Azzan had cleaned up the kitchen and was all ready for bed so Mahalia & I went for a night walk with Caspian.
It is really pleasant walking in the evening.
We stopped in to visit Glynnie briefly on our way around the blocks.
She was a bit hesitant to open her door to us loud goons who were banging on her front door!
But we were soon allowed in when she saw were not too troublesome.
Had a few minutes chatting and then we continued on our way.
Caspian hadn’t had a decent walk for several days so he enjoyed getting out.
Once back home again Mahalia headed off to bed.
I watched a documentary about the little missing three year old William Tyrell who disappeared 12 months ago.
It is such a heart wrenching story that event reported was in tears.
I just pray that someone will come forward and give his parents back their son.
It is all quiet here now.
All I can hear is Caspian snoring.
Yes, he is actually snoring.
It is so cute 🙂
He’s all cuddled up with his pillow pet, his toy dog and his cuddle blankets.

Tuesday 8th September

I managed to sleep through to 6am today.
But woke with a blindsiding nauseating headache.
Man I hate being sick.
And at times like this I loathe being a solo parent and having responsibilities.
I just want to stay in bed and have someone tuck me in and pander to my needs and love me.
I don’t want to have to get up and face the world and be the responsible one all the time.
But I dragged myself out and woke up one sleeping son because once again he had slept through his alarm.
Actually he has it figured now, that he probably has it set on pm not am – duh!
Anyway, it was instant panic until I told him to Settle Grettle or I wouldn’t help him.
So he calmed and I went and got the porridge started.
He then was able to make his lunch in a strafer manor which made all out lives so much more pleasant.
I swallowed down some Panadol to help me into the day.
The other three were all making early starts but I added the announcement that I would prefer it if they could please between them take a few minutes to hang washing and wash dishes before leaving the house.
Mahalia swept out the door in a hurry as she was taking her cv somewhere on her way to NMIT.
Then Nathan quickly raced a few dishes through and zipped out the door.
I was checking payments and getting a few more parcels ready to send after I’d had my shower.
The courier was on the job and they were gone only moments after I’d lodged there collection via the website.
Shanni had a later start and was taking a heap of tramping gear to school to loan to some of the Internationals for their camp.
As well she was intending to stay overnight with David & Sasha so she had quite a load on.
I had called the Jury answerphone and was told to be at the courthouse by 9:45am.
It was a lovely morning and I was feeling a tad better and thought a walk would be beneficial so planned to do just that as it was only 12-15mins walk from here.
I got the puppy sorted and went out the gate and low and behold my orange chariot was still parked outside across my gateway.
Oh dear!
Someone forgot to put her to bed last night – duh!
I couldn’t be bothered putting the pup back inside to open the gate and park it in the yard so I hopped in and drove.
There was some major tree chopping going on up the street with traffic being slowed so I went around the block and approached the PO from the other side.
Dropped off a couple of parcels and then found a free park half way to the court house.
Walked the last part of the way.
I had my pockets loaded with tissues and throat lozenges and a stash of Panadol just in case.
We went through the whole security and roll call as yesterday but didn’t have to rewatch the dvd which was good.
Then all the names were put in the barrel and 38 were called out.
I was sitting there praying I would not get called, I just wanted to go home to bed.
But the 34th name was – guess who?
Yep! Moi.
So I toddled off into the courtroom and sat with the other 37.
Then the names were put in another barrel and called out again.
Several were challenged and then blow me down but I was called into the final 12!
So now we get into a state of total disbelief.
Remember I did actually wanted to do this when I received the summons.
But now, today, I really want to be home in bed.
Oh dear.
Why on earth didn’t I just call in sick.
Had a chat with the court officers and they assured me I could do the job.
So I stayed.
We had a break for an hour at lunch so I flew home and check on Caspian.
He was all good.
Happy to see me though.
I found a quick snack – chocolate mousse cheesecake that Nathan brought home for me which was too rich to eat much of.
Finished up with a juicy raw pear and a carrot with cashew dip for healthy measure 🙂
Then goodbye to Caspian for a few more hours, messaged the kids to tell them I was tied up and headed back to the job.
I was a bit concerned about Azzan coming home as the others were all tied up till later.
So I had text him long instructions and he was all good and chirpie when I finally caught up with him around 4:30pm once I’d finished for the day.
I shot off to get a few groceries, picking up Mahalia from Kip McGrath on the way.
Then home to see what was happening.
Azzan had fed himself and played with the puppy.
Nathan was back too.
Mahalia took Caspian for a walk.
She called out to me to come look see.
So I did.
And it was awesome.
She took a few more with Caspian in the setting sun.
Aren’t they just wonderful?
Azzan did some drum practise then Nathan dropped him off at Sea Cadets around 6:15pm.
He then headed off to German lessons soon after and picked up Azzan at 9pm on his way home.

Mahalia and I made dinner.
I was so looking forward to cracking the seals on one of these jars of tomato soup that Leita had dropped off last night.
I had bought some fresh ciabatta buns to have with it.
It was so good I demolished two bowls full.
Thanks Leita – soup’s very soothing to the spirit, soul and body xxxx
Mahalia took her dinner off to eat in her room and watch something that I wasn’t interested in and I watched a documentary that she wasn’t wanting to view.
We were both happy 😉
I watched The Monster of Mangatiti.
The shockingly true story of one of at least 7 young women held captive in the isolated Wanganui regions.

Heather Walsh has now joined Louise Nicholas in the fight against rape & sexual violence here in NZ.
Fittingly today Louise Nicholas was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to the prevention of sexual violence.
Two amazing women whom I admire greatly, who have fought to have their truth heard to encourage and support others.

On another wonderful note, my fellow outlaw, Lily’s other grandmother Diane was awarded the DNZM for services to the community.
So now we have to call her Dame Grandma 😉