Thursday 29th October

Mahalia got herself off to rowing on time today.
She’s only slept through twice but is determined not to do it again as she doesn’t want to get in trouble or get black marks against her.
It’s great to see such determination.
I was on pager again today so hadn’t planed on going too far afield.
Azzan still not feeling great this morning.
Emotional heartache is so exhausting, for all of us.
He wasn’t keen on going to school today but I managed to cajole him with a few adjustments to his day.
I wrote a note to have him excused from PE to come home early and I emailed his head teacher re the forthcoming Father/Son evening that is being planned.
It is things like this which understandably trigger an emotional meltdown.
He has been doing really well lately but this upcoming event has really thrown a spanner in the works.
Mahalia flew in the door, I was able to give her a few extra minutes by making her lunch and by taking Azzan to school first she was able to eat her breakfast in the car before I dropped her off.
I had three things I needed to do so went to get them out of the way.
Had to get Mahalia a 10mm spanner.
It is a vital piece of equipment that all the rowers have to have in their back pockets at all times so they can rig/derig the boats.
Leita called up so we had a long chat (via bluetooth!) while I was driving over to Placemakers.
Really appreciate this new friend xx
Once I found the spanner I headed to The Warehouse.
Azzan’s Prep classes are filling shoeboxes for the Christmas Appeals so I wanted to get some things to add to them.
I was only their a short time, had a few items in my basket when the fire alarm went off.
It was really weird cuz no one seemed to know what it was and everyone was looking around os ee what the noise was.
Eventually the staff mustered and we all headed to the doors.
Have no idea if it was a drill or for real.
I just left my basket and drove off.
Went to SASH to file my report from yesterday’s interview then back home again.
Shanni wasn’t feeling wonderful today either so I had emailed her in absent from school for the day.
She rested and cleaned her room later on.
I was barely home when Janet messaged me to see if I wanted to join them for coffee in town.
If I hadn’t been working I would’ve walked in to meet them as it was a lovely day.
Instead I popped Caspian in the car and we walked from the carpark to Colombus where Janet & David were just finishing their breakfast in the sunshine.
I got a mocha and we chatted for a while.
I was feeling really drained, so it was good to just sit a while.
But then I got a call out so had to go take Caspian back home and leave him with Nathan.
Then I zoomed out to Richmond to visit a client.
That filled up the rest of the afternoon.
I dropped a parcel off for Sasha then took a few minutes to dive into Kmart to get the shoebox things for Azzan.
Then back home.
There was plenty of food for dinner, I got Azzan to make some mashed potatoes to have with the stew.
I have had Marah’s truck parked up here for quite some time as it wouldn’t start.
Graham organised for a truck to pick it up, it arrived at 5:30pm.
Such a quick and easy removal,
So pleased to get my yard space back and hopefully some resolution as to what exactly is wrong with it!

David & Janet arrived to ‘meet’ our new home.
Yes it is still new even though its been nearly a year since we moved.
Then we went off to the Sprig & Fern on Hardy for evening.
We planned to get there early, and we did, but it was already humming and tables taken.
We hoppe don a bench and shared one of the large tables while we placed our orders.
Then as soon as the couches in top nook were vacated we whisked ourselves up there past haste!
David & Janet order pies and were given this lavish spread.
We had built in entertainment at our table 😉
I had the chicken nachos which were loaded with jalapeños so I was breathing fire for a while 🙂
We sat back and chatted until the real entertainment of the evening began at 8pm.
The Amazing Vandini Brothers were performing for the next few hours.
They really rocked it.
Great job Nev, Dave, Ivan & Simon.
I’ve posted some video clips I took during the evening which you can check out here and here and here and the best one here 🙂

At 10pm we called it a night.
I needed to get back to the kids and to bed.
Was really weary but it was great to spend some time out with friends.

Wednesday 28th October

We woke to a very wet dreary day.
Azzan talked me into taking him to school so I took Mahalia too.
We were running a bit late and then got held up with road works and slow traffic so he was late getting to class.
Only 5 minutes but it was too late for him which set his whole day off kilter.
I got back home and decided I needed a fire.
Thanks to Graeme & Cynthia for dropping me off some home made fire starters weeks ago I was able to get it blazing easily.
Jenni arrived at 10am so we enjoyed the warm kitchen while we caught up over a cuppa.
Then Anson rocked in around midday so Jenni left to continue on with her socialising.
Anson stopped for a coffee so we had time for a chat which was good.
After he left I ran around getting ready to head off to work.
Had an interview at 2:30pm so had dinner prepared & kids prepped for when they got home as I didn’t know how long I’d be gone for.
After school it was too wet for tennis so Azzan took himself off to get a haircut.
Mahalia whizzed home and then off to rowing.
Nathan strolled past me on his way to work with his headphones implanted, totally oblivious to his mother calling out hullo to him until I phoned him!!
Finally got back home around 5:30pm.
Shanni was back and getting stuff sorted in her room.
Azzan was making a snack before he got into his homework.
I had time to write up my report and then debriefed on the way to my next meeting.
I am so thankful for the bluetooth in the car – I can have long private phone conversations as I drive 🙂
Arrived at rowing just in time for the 6pm meeting.
The trainer from the Results Gym was there to talk to us about what our kids were doing and to answer any questions we might have about fitness and wellbeing.
Another mother was also there to talk about nutrition.
A busy hour!
Met up with several mothers who have been in the club with their kids for a season ahead of us.
They were great.
Could totally understand how I was feeling – head in a whirl trying to comprehend it all.
Mahalia was keen to get home as she was starving.
Dropped her off and then zipped back to pick up tonight’s Nelson Mail as my neighbour Ursula phoned me this arvo to tell me that we had made front page!@!
And we sure did!!
The article and photo take up at good quarter of the front page of the paper.
Great advertising for Jonathan 🙂
Sure hope he gets some more commissions from this!!

Dinner was had by all in a rather fragmented manner tonight, everyone ate when they wanted as they could, fitting around their schedules.
Azzan has been feeling very fragile lately.
Tonight more so.
Lots of stuff going on.
He needed some big Mum hugs and also some Caspian cuddles so I left them to it for a while.
Caspian seemed very settled when I went back to get him!!
Shanni is cleaning out and dejunking her room.
Also getting ready for her graduation dinner.
Preparations have been underway for a while, but last minute changes are having to be made which is a tad stressful.
Just trying to work out logistics with her to make it enjoyable and run smoothly.
A special time – last days at high school.

I carried on working in the kitchen after Nathan arrived back from work.
It was all quite and peaceful – everyone was in bed asleep.
All I could hear was the puppy’s little squeaky snoring noises.
So cute 🙂

Tuesday 27th October

Slept in till 7:15am.
Suppose one way of managing that is to go to sleep after 4am – prob pay for it later :-/
Kids were up and getting themselves sorted.
They were all gone by 8am.
A very grey cool morning.
I decided to have a soak in the bath before tackling the day.
Nice way to warm up.
Have so many things on my agenda that it is hard to know where to start.
I have piles of books to list and sell, garden plants to put in, gardens to build, more mulch to spread, art stuff to sort and get rid of, boxes of stuff to go through and get rid of, meals to prepare, emails for rowing, work, sea cadets, from three different educational institutions, plus all my business emails and banking etc etc etc.
Far too much for this head to cope with today – or any day really.
I try really hard to keep my inbox tidy and sorted and everything filed so I can keep everything under control or my brain implodes.
Today all I managed to do was cook meals for today and tomorrow.
I made a steak casserole in the slow cooker for tomorrow.
Nathan had brought home some chicken breasts so I cut them up and concocted a stir fry thingee which seemed really boring until I added coconut cream and half a bottle of Lime & Coconut Marinade.
That turned it from boring to absolutely divine 🙂
I also made a small pot for Mahalia with vegetarian schnitzel pieces instead of chicken.
I have this lovely vase of sweet peas that Frances gave me on Friday night, sitting on my kitchen window sill.
They are so pretty and brighten up my days.
Phillipa came by to sign some papers.
Macey was asleep in the car so she parked inside to let him sleep.
Caspian was very happy to play when he woke up.

I had barely managed to get the dinners on before the kids began arriving home from school.
I hopped on my bed for a while and had a doze.
Then had some dinner.
Azzan went off to Sea Cadets, glad he is happy to bike to and fro now the days are getting longer.
Had a quiet evening watching a documentary on Netflix called ‘First Comes Love’.
It was actually very watchable and interesting.
In bed early tonight.
I watched ‘Prime’ and then lights out before 10:30pm!

Monday 26th October

Mahalia was up in good time this morning.
She has overslept a couple of times recently so didn’t want to get into trouble this morning!
After rowing she went back home to spend the morning with Logan.
It was a lovely morning.
Really good to be able to get up this morning and see all 3 loads of washing already hung on the line.
Felt like a headstart into the day 🙂
I had to go out and have a look at the shed in daylight.
The sun was still coming over the hills at 8am so the shadows were casting a lovely light.
An hour later and the sun was streaming and showing the picture in all it’s glory.
I am so happy with this painting.
Here’s some close ups of the detail.
Caspian has been in great need of grooming but I have been postponing it for a few reasons.
When I did a google search for groomers I discovered a new mobile service so decided to give it a try.
Gay arrived soon after 9am, backed into my yard and quickly had everything connected.
She made friends with Caspian, that wasn’t too hard.
He then spent a couple of hours being pampered.
It is amazing how different a haircut makes him look.
He went from a large wooly teddy bear back to a tiny puppy again.
Azzan decided he was just far too cute and whipped him away for cuddles.
While Caspian was having his grooming done Azzan decided to make sushi.
But alas on searching the pantry we discovered the sushi rice was gone, plus there was no sushi paper.
So we zipped down to the supermarket and did a small shop.
Back home and Azzan set the rice cooking while he prepared the rest of the fillings.
I helped him get the rolls finished.
Then he packed up a chilly bag of food.
He was keen to go out for a drive.
So my planed day of gardening was shelved.
We cleaned up the kitchen and were off & away.
We picked up Mahalia, fuelled up the car on the way through Richmond then drove on out to Ruby Bay.
I stopped in at the Art Expo as there was a painting there I had fallen in love with last night.
Azzan got out and went for a quick wander but came back saying it was too yucky and we shouldn’t stay.
The tide was way way out so the beach was tacky, plus it was quite windy.
We drove back to Mapua.
The wee village was buzzing with tourists.
I was glad to finally find the Hat Shop open as I was wanting to get myself a sunhat.
What a great wee shop.
There are hundreds of hats of all shapes and sizes.
I found two that suited.
Then we cruised up the street and found Ella & Grants new abode.
Stopped into have a cuppa with them.
It was very pleasant sitting out in the sun on the deck chatting the afternoon away.
The garden was so pretty but these flowers were gorgeous.
We stopped off at KFC to use a voucher and get Azzan some dinner.
I dropped Mahalia off at rowing so she could ride her bike home.
Then I let Azzan & Caspian out a few blocks from home so they could walk as Caspian hadn’t had a run today.
Unpacked the car, got the washing in, and hung my new painting.
Mahalia was rapt that I decided to put it in the kitchen for now in place of the large family portrait which is 6 years old and she is sick of being told how cute she was 😉
Anyway, for now, this is where it hangs.
I love it.
The technique, the colours, the subject, the bravery of the reach.
Mahalia went and got some hot chips and I poached eggs.
Dinner was simple but good.
I blobbed out on the couch and watched ‘Today’s Special’.
It was an easy movie to watch, quite a feel good story.
Nathan came in and then went off to get a few groceries.
Shoshannah & Maria arrived back from Waterfall Bay.
They had enjoyed their weekend.
Mahalia & Azzan were off to bed fairly early.
I couldn’t get to sleep so ended up siting in bed catching up on my blog until the early hours!


Sunday 25th October

Jonathan had messaged me yesterday to say he could start painting today so I took this photo of the blank canvas before he arrived.
He came around 11am and dropped off all his paints etc.
I had to go out so left him to it.
I shot out to Mitre 10 and picked up a few plants.
When I returned home just over an hour later this is what he had done already!
By mid afternoon it was looking fantastic!


I watched the first of a two part series called Paper Giants while I had lunch.
It was really interesting.
All about the inception of the Australian magazine Cleo.

I left again around 6pm and he was still going.
I went out to Saxton Stadium to catch the last couple of hours at the Art Expo.
There was live music as well.
It was a most pleasant evening.
Not too many folk there which was a shame as it was lovely cruising the 175 exhibitions with the musicians playing.
There was exhibits from painters, printmakers, sculptors, photographers, ceramicists, jewellers and many more.
I checked out Sirpa’s display and decided that my painting was the best of them all 🙂
There were quite a few I liked but I fell for a painting by a local artist, Maureen Ryan.
I found my friend Melbourn there.
She was exhibiting her works and had won a major award – the Crowe Horwath Business Art Award,  which was fantastic recognition.
We hung out for a while, catching up over a light dinner snack.
I ran out of time to see everything – I had seriously under estimated how ling I would need to take it all in.
It was huge, way bigger than I had imagined.
Next year I will allow way more hours to wander and enjoy them all.
When I arrived home Jonathan had finished the shed.
It is wonderful.
I really love the ambience of the scene by street light.
It is perfect for the little blue nocturnal critters.
For all of you who have been asking the artist is Jonathan Muzacz.
He originates from Texas but has spent a lot of time in Japan.
His work is everywhere!!
One very talented young man whom I am very fortunate to have discovered.
Thanks so much Jonathan 🙂

Crashed out and watched the 2nd part of Paper Giants and had a late dinner as I was quite hungry.
Kids were off to bed by the time I got home.
I left the backdoor open so Caspian could play.
I put through 3 loads of washing and then hung them all out around 11pm.
It is actually really lovely outside at that time of night.
Cool, quiet and peaceful.
And it means it is one less job to do in the morning.
Caspian was proving to be a right royal pain and would not come inside.
I left him to play and locked up.
Finally, later on,  after several attempts he finally raced inside to his pen and I enclosed him for the night.
Little monkey!!

Saturday 24th October

I woke up at 6:12am and discover Mahalia was still asleep.
I woke her and got some food sorted while she quickly got ready.
She was over tired from being to bed too late last night.
I was just clad in my dressing gown but I drove her to rowing and got her there just as they were getting the boats out.
Came back and got myself dressed and ready to head out to my appointment at 8:30am.
Shoshannah & Maria were planning to head down to Waterfall Bay but were just cruising gently into the morning.
Azzan needed to sleep in too.
I parked by the bridge so I dint have to worry about the meters and walked to Nelson Beauty.
Sophie had come in early so she could fit a massage into my schedule.
I was so overdue for one!
Spent nearly two hours there and came out feeling wonderful.
Decided to take a wander over to the market.
Caught up with Belinda.
She had just gotten home from Vanuatu so always god to hear news of there.
Did a circuit of the stalls, picked up a spanakopita from The Greek Shop for my breakfast.
Arrived back home to find Shoshannah & Maria had not long left.
Azzan was trying to get his room tidied up but had plans to go meet friends.
Decided to cancel them as he was too tired.
Mahalia went into her appointment with Sophie.
We had a pretty chilled out sorta day.
Azzan is planning a party soon so I have been fielding the rsvp’s from the boys parents.
Bit daunting for me being here on my own.
When I told Mahalia she asked with a big grin if she could join them 🙂

Still plenty of pasta left from my cook up on Thursday night so we were eating our way through it which saved cooking dinners.

Friday 23rd October

Today is Nathan’s 20th birthday.
I found this photo recently of him and his Dad taken exactly 10 years ago up on top of Mt Richmond.
I just love it.
Such a special photo.
10:05MtRichmond 17 copy10:05MtRichmond 16 copy

The first thing I planted when we arrived here was this verbena.
I never expected much from it but it has been a source of beauty and pleasure for many months.
It has now burst forth into colour again.
This time it has produced a red flower in the midst of the pink.
Most strange, but very pretty.
Anson called in briefly on his way to the bay.
It was good to see him and catch a few photos of him and his young bro.
Then the girls joined the fray and I just kept clicking, cuz thats when you get the best action shots 😉
I walked up to the Sprig to have morning tea with Glynnie.
It was cool so I left Caspian at home and we sat indoors.
Had a great chat and some good laughs.
We always enjoy putting the world to rights 🙂

Mahalia and I went into town to do some shopping.
She wanted to find something for Nathan’s b’day but he is a hard one to shop for, especially with him packing up to leave soon.
I stopped outside Contents and we popped in to have a look at some other stuff and just by chance spotted the perfect gift.
We raced back to the house and grabbed Nathan.
Told him he had to come help us choose something.
He wasn’t too impressed at being dragged out but he came.
We took him into Contents and asked him to choose a watch.
We had found two we both liked.
They are a Dutch brand called Oozoo and real fashion statements.
They are so cool that I could almost be tempted to wear a watch again!
We just knew they were perfect for Nathan.
He checked them all out and then chose a different one.
It was really classy and perfect for him,
I then dropped it off to get it engraved and then took the kids back home.
I had time to take 5 and then zoom back to pick it up before heading to meet Shanni.

Shoshannah’s  NMIT Trades school awards were held at 4pm so I rocked up and spent an hour there while all the students were commended for their work and presented with certificates of achievement.
Shoshannah has been attending the building section most Fridays this year and has learnt skills and make some great things.
From there we screamed back home and I tore through the shower.
Maria arrived and the girls all got themselves beautifulised for the night.
Azzan got all spiffied up too.
Nathan had cranked up the iron and left earlier looking pretty darn good too 🙂
My crew all brush up pretty smart when they try!
Nathan had invited family & friends to join him at Cafe Affair from 6pm onwards to celebrate his birthday combined with a farewell as he is leaving in a few weeks.
We had a very pleasant evening.
Nathan’s friend and workmate Stina made him a cake.
It was a wonderful surprise.
Of course he had to record the moment for posterity 😉
Some tomfoolery from the Canadian Kiwi!
Mahalia had an early morning so I sent her home in a taxi.
Unfortunately it was still too late by the time it arrived at 9:30pm.
Uncle Zani spent lots of time entertaining Sapphie in the kids cave.
Sapphire did so well.
She never missed a beat.
She was in party mode the whole night.
Uncle Nathan made the most of cuddles, not long and he will be off and away and will be missing his wee nieces.

All in all it was a great night.
Happy Birthday my young man.
I’m gonna miss you when you’re gone but I know you have places to go, people to see and things to do 🙂
Go well my son.
Your Dad would be so proud of you.
I know I am.
You’ve come a long way and the world is at your feet.
Step out and grab it with both hands with my blessing xxxx


Thursday 22nd October

It was my turn for the early morning today.
My flight was 6:40am so in order to get there we had to leave the house before 5:30am.
I was up and ready in plenty of time.
James drove me to the airport.
The sun was just rising as I boarded.
The clouds were so pretty with the sun rising beyond them.
I tried to get as much shut eye time as I could.
Shoshannah met me and took me home before heading off to school.
I spent the day kicking the house back into order.
The kids had all been great while I was away.
Katherine & Sasha had moved in so there was a good team on board.
I was a bit miffed that they had forgotten to put out the rubbish bin as it was very full.
I sprayed it with fly spray and forced it down further so I could get more in!
They had also not eaten much of the food I had left for them.
Oh well, at least they did eat and were well and happy.
Sorry kids for being tired and grumpy 😦
I unpacked and got washing sorted and tidied up as I could.
Had a catch up with Nathan and then went into town to my appointment at Renaissance.
It as really good to get my hair cut as I had been feeling a bit unkempt for a while.
Met up with Leita at the Sprig at 2pm.
We sat out in the sun and chatted for an hour or so until after school commitments called us away.
I finally began to get some food ready for dinner and then realised I had run out of time to eat because I had misjudged the timeframe for the evenings events.
It was the Prep Presentation Evening.
The boys Pride & Science Fair Projects were all on display for the parent to view.
Azzan didn’t want to be late so of course we were almost first to arrive!
He soon was enveloped by all his class mates but I felt really out of it.
I hardly know anyone there yet so it was really uncomfortable milling around and not having anyone talk to me.
I sat and waited and was so relieved to spot Rachel arrive.
I sat & talked with her and her friend while we waited for the formal part to begin.
Then Renata & Tom arrived.
Thankful for more familiar faces 🙂
We all sat together and enjoyed the choir and bands performing.
I didn’t know Azzan was in the choir until just before it all started when he exclaimed to me that he thought he was singing tonight!
There were some speeches, the headboys MC’d the whole thing with the head teachers only coming in at the end to say a few words.
It was well done and a real credit to the boys.

Wednesday 21st October

Both of us had our alarms set for around 4:30am but Estelle was so worried about over sleeping that she barely slept at all.
So she was up and away in plenty of time to get herself to the airport and drop off the car.
I took the train into the city mid morning and had a short time to meander so went over to the Downtown Mall for half an hour.
It can be rather overwhelming being surrounded by all the tall oppressive buildings!
This is a rather interesting water feature.
Te Ahi Kaa Roa
While I was nearby it flames appeared.
An interesting juxtaposition – basalt, water and flames.
Back over inside Britomart the architecture is an art form in itself.
I managed to figure out my connecting train and after a short wait I boarded and headed out to Mt Albert.
More lines and textures along the way.
I walked the few minutes to Tahi & Chris’s place.
It was really nice after several busy tiring days to just chill out with Tahi.
We talked and talked, and then walked to a meeting, pick up a late lunch snack at the bakery, and then walked to pick up Fern from school.
Walked back home to get my jacket.
It was rather entertaining walking with Fern & her friend.
Fern was on her wee scooter so we were weaving and diving amongst other pedestrians and avoiding cars etc along the way.
Tahi then delivered me to Sunni’s at 3:30pm.
Sunni had been busy with a photo shoot most of the day.
We picked up Lily from Kohunga Reo and drove back to Diane’s for dinner.
It was my last evening with them all.
We had a delicious dinner and socialised for a while.
Then Sunni & Mat took a very tired wee Lily home and I packed my gear and crashed out.
I was so tired……..

Tuesday 20th October

We had a slowish start to the day which was nice.
Diane left for her very early flight to Wellington and James & Liv went off doing stuff.
We just chilled and regrouped before deciding what to do with the day.

I had done some research online before leaving as Estelle was looking for a down jacket.
Drove to Newmarket Mall in search of Bivouac.
Was absolutely delighted to find the most perfect jacket there.
It fitted beautifully, looked fantastic, was cosy and warm and it was in a purple which really suits Estelle.
Plus it was on a huge reduction which is not usual for an Icebreaker.
We then headed over to Ponsonby for a wander.
Explored Ponsonby Central and then meandered through the shops before heading to meet Sunniva at Little Bird Unbakery.
I wanted to take Estelle there to try the wonderful foods and as it is one of Sunni’s favourite places in her area it was a perfect spot to meet up.
Sunni had arrived back from a yoga retreat in Australia in the early hours of the morning and then attended a business launch so it was good to catch up and hear all her news.
We ordered some delicious lunches.
I had the Bird Bowl because it has the best of everything and Estelle had the Portobella Benedict.
We had to sample their desert menu and because the choice is so difficult we got three to share.
Caramel Slice, Chocolate Berry Cheesecake and a Raspberry tart which was absolutely delicious.
These are all made with natural vegan ingredients so are not as sickly sweet as others are.
I did end up bringing a small amount of cheesecake home though as it was all a bit to much to finish.
Once we were totally replete we drove a few blocks to pick Lily up from Kohunga Reo.
I just love her exuberance when she realised we were there 🙂
We had a look around and talked with one of the teachers.
She was so lovely, had been there for 30 years so had seen several generations of children through the doors.
Lily was weary so Sunni took her off home.
We drove back to Newmarket to check out a shop Estelle wanted to find.
By the time we had found it and check out several others I was beside myself with tiredness.
We drove into city centre and parked up at the Aotea Centre at 6pm.
Found a place to dine and relaxed for an hour and a half over our dinner.
The time flew and all of a sudden it was nearly 8pm and time for us to go over and find our seats.
I had booked front row seats.
It was great to have such close up view of the stage.
Joan Baez arrived out on the stage on her own and without fanfare or lights she sang.
She sang for an hour and a half accompanied by an amazing multi instrumental musician Dirk Powell, and her son Gabe Harris on the hand drums, along with her assistant Grace Stumberg, a young songbird with a strong beautiful voice, who accompanied her in several songs.
The show came to a close at 9:30pm.
It was far too early for the audience but she had delivered a solid 90min quality non-stop concert and at 74years of age  I commend her for that.
She has certainly not deteriorated with age!!
We headed off to get a coffee and then drove back home.
Estelle had an early morning to look forward to so we didn’t want to be late.
Diane was back from her day in Wellington but was exhausted so we all just headed straight to bed.