Tuesday 17th November

I had another long sleep.
Woke at 7am.
Kids both off to school.
Rachel was determined to do heaps while she was here.
She carried on in the garden after breakfast.
We now have a lovely fringe of liriope around the front edge surrounding the fruit trees.
Plus the beginnings of my cottage garden under the tree.

Becky arrived just after 9:30am.
She is helping me to update my blog and internet sites.
We spent and hour or so trying to transfer WordPress files.
It all got somewhat frustrating and then she had to leave at 11:30am.
She ended up leaving late because of the hassle.
But afterwards I managed to get something happening so spent the afternoon importing files in between other things.

Shanni was preparing to fly to Auckland so spent the morning getting packed up.
She loaded up her car and headed off just after lunch as she had an appointment over in Tahunanui.
Rachel went off into town for a bike ride.
Now she has discovered Tank Juice Bar there is no holding back.
She is addicted 🙂
She had biked in to get a smoothie as the kids had recommended it to her, and returned saying she could’ve downed 5 of them!!
She returned with a Tank smoothie for me.
It was really good and I thoroughly appreciate her efforts in bringing one back for me.

Amy arrived with her two little just after 3:30pm.
I left her and Rachel to hang out as I had to zip over and pick up Shanni from John & Sally’s and take her to the airport.
As I am busy when she returns they are storing her car and will meet her.
Throughout the day I had been chasing up the parcel I sent to Nathan yesterday.
He’d left some things behind that he needed so I had over night couriered it.
It hadn’t been delivered this morning like it was supposed to have been.
It got extremely stressful trying to talk to the right people.
I finally discovered around 3:30pm that I hadn’t been talking the right person and had wasted precious time.
So annoying and incredibly frustrating.
Finally got to speak to a lovely lady who was the investigator for Courier Post but as it was so late in the day by the time I located her she couldn’t do much till morning.
And morning was probably too late.

Later in the afternoon Rachel & I decided to try putting the trampoline together.
I had bought it a few weeks ago but was waiting for the cabin to be removed so we could put it there.
It proved to be rather a complicated job.
There were two instruction booklets.
One with photos so tiny we could barely make them out.
Plus the English was obviously from Asian translation.
The other was in German.
A right royal mix up!
I even searched YouTube for an instructional video but to no avail so we just had to wing it the best we could.
You would think it should be simple!
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Rachel & I did most of it on our own but Mahalia came in very handy when it came to attaching the springs.
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We took a dinner break in the midst of it to recharge our batteries.
It was such a lovely evening we ate outside on the kitchen deck.
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It was about now that we decided to call it a day.
We had all the screws in where we thought they should go and it was getting a bit too dark so continue.

Monday 16th November

I woke at 7am!
Wow!!
10:30pm till 7am.
Havent slept that long in can’t remember when.
That glass of Bailey’s must’ve helped!
Azzan came in soon after complaining of a bad headache.
He had not slept well.
His room is still not sorted and there is stuff everywhere.
His OCDness was apparently disturbing his sleep :-/
After a consultation I gave him some Panadol, sent him back to bed and emailed his teacher that he would be coming in today.
I got my self ready for my 9:45am appointment.
But at the last minute as I was about to leave the puppy took time to be captured so I could get my car out the gate.
Then I remembered it was Monday, rubbish day.
So I quickly added the kitchen bin full to the wheelie bin and the wheelbarrow of weeds Azzan had removed from the yard.
By this time I had only 3 minutes to get there so I was several minutes late.
Part of my OCDness is the need to be punctual.
But I did well this morning, I didn’t stress, I just drove carefully and navigated the early morning town traffic as best I could and arrived breathing relatively normally.
Had a fairly intense and emotional therapy session.
Came home feeling really drained.
But as I pulled up I saw Forde arriving to pick up the cabin so I didn’t have time to stop.
I raced inside and put the puppy back in his cage, opened the gates, cleared the lawn, took off the washing and wound up the clothes line.
To add to the mix road works had just begun on our corner and there were road cones everywhere.
But Forde and his wife managed to back in and begun the loading process.
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I headed up to the Post Office to send a parcel to Nathan.
With all my organisational skills he had still managed to leave behind his precious bundle of knives!
I got them onto the over night courier and pray that the mail will get to Christchurch before he leaves!
When I arrived back the cabin was loaded and heading out the gate.
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Shoshannah had been busy all morning.
She had vacuumed, washed floors, cleaned the kitchen and her bathroom.
Azzan was sorting out his room.
Mahalia was really tired from her weekend camp so was just getting up and spent the rest of the day tidying her room.
I put the clothes line back up and hung out several loads of washing.
When I look at the back of the section now and see the gap where the cabin has been it is a raw reminder of Nathan’s departure and my heart leaks a little from my eyes again 😦
I had bought a delicious dark chocolate & pear muffin from the Sprig earlier so made a latte and went to my room.
Told the kids that my door was closed and the only interruption was if there was a fire or death!
I just needed quiet headspace.
My head was aching from too much emotional stuff.
So I stayed on my bed for most of the afternoon.
Just relaxed and watched some documentaries etc.
Azzan made some hot chips later in the day which he brought to share with me.
He snuggled in beside me.
I must’ve dozed off cuz when I came too my laptop screen was black.
It wouldn’t wake up, then he reached over and turned the screen light back on.
I had gone to sleep so he had turned them down so I would sleep longer.
Sweet boy.
Racheal arrived around 4:30pm.
Amy had been visiting Marah today so dropped her off which was great.
She had a wonderful week out with Marah & the girls.
I was about to walk out the door but she wanted to get stuck into some work so I showed her the planting that needed doing and left her to it.
Mahalia loaded her bike into he back of my car as I had offered to drive her up to the hospital to hang out with Emma.
We got half way there and were stuck in very slow pre 5pm traffic and I could see I would be late for my meeting.
So I did a U-turn, parked up and unloaded the bike and left her to go the rest of the way herself.
I headed to work and arrived just on 5pm.
Spent the next 2 hours at a planning meeting which went well.
Home at 7:30pm-ish to find Rachel still in the garden.
She’s a self confessed night owl so worked until dark and got heaps of planting done.
The rest of us were all off to bed.
I had my dinner while watching the first episode in the series of ‘Rachel Hunter’s Tour of Beauty’.
I had stumbled across it when searching TVNZ OnDemand.
It is really good.
Rachel is brilliant and so natural, still the typical Kiwi girl.
Asleep around 10pm again.
Making progress 🙂

Sunday 15th November

Today is a day we have been anticipating for some time now.
It has been on my calendar for weeks, maybe months now.
But until today it has been in the future so I haven’t had to get serious about it.
Today is the day Nathan leaves.
I have known this is coming.
I have made plans for the removal of his sleep-out.
I have helped him with his travel plans.
I have assisted his packing and sorting as I could.
But it hasn’t really been real until today.

Last night Azzan made plans to go to church this morning with Melissa.
Just before she and James arrived he changed his mind and wanted to go to a different one.
I had been awake since early again so decided to go with them.
We went to Impact Church.
The speaker today was Steve Dunne from The Jeremiah Trust.
He was a passionate speaker about topics relevant to today.
Today the world is reeling from the Paris attacks so he had a lot to say about them.
Azzan really liked his talk but Melissa & I found his delivery a bit harsh.
Humour is a good thing to use in speech delivery, but falling to sarcastic criticism looses my respect very quickly.
I caught up with Jillian & Colin briefly afterwards.
On the way back to the car we popped into the Suter Art gallery to view the Rembrandt exhibition.
I had been wanting to view it for ages but hadn’t managed to and it was closing today.
It was really good.
Azzan had been with school and was so impressed he and a friend went back again.
He was able to tell us some interesting information .
James & Melissa dropped us back home and then went to get some Tank smoothies.
Nathan had gone off to have a last coffee with some friends.
I could see there was still quite a bit to be done in his slept so I started clearing out everything he wasn’t taking.
James moved the mattress for me and I got all the bedding through the wash.
By the time Nathan returned we had everything pretty much sorted so he only had to do the last few things.
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He & James went off to Cafe Affair to say a final goodbye.
I was trying really hard not to cry but was losing the battle.

Nathan has made the most of his last weeks/days here.
It is lovely that he has been so happy lately.
He’s met some great friends recently and has spent some happy hours hanging out with them and family.
Life has been more positive and these months of having him living here have been so good.
He left home at 16 so I consider these past few months a real bonus.
He has supported me emotionally through some hard times lately.
I am so going to miss him.

Finally it was time.
Time to say goodbye.
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My heart was breaking and bursting at the same time.
Bursting with love and pride and knowing his leaving is the right thing for now.
Breaking because I am gonna miss this lad of mine so much.
I haven’t cried like this when any of my kids have left home since Jesika went to South America at 16.
She is my eldest and was the first to leave and I cried for days after she walked out the door even though I had supported and encouraged her with maternal excitement and helped her pack etc.
I have almost prided myself that I have allowed my kids to fly as soon as their wings were strong enough so no tears were needed.
What’s different today?
Nathan has been my rock, my sounding board, an ear to talk in the late hours when it was just us.
He has never tried to tell me what to do.
He has listened, supported, empathised and encouraged me to be strong throughout recent times of stress.
The time he has been here has been an absolute blessing and a time of healing for us both.
I love you my son.
Go well, stay safe and be strong.

After he left with Melissa & James I allowed the tears to fall uncontrollably.
Azzan graciously allowed and encouraged me to cry as I needed while he gave me some big Zani hugs.
Then it was time to go pick up Mahalia.
I made the call that we would get takeouts for dinner.
I just did not have the strength to think about food tonight.
Azzan came with me.
Mahalia was thrilled about her first camp.
She felt good about the intensiveness of the weekend, that they had gained so much more than at the week day trainings.
Plus she had quality time to really mesh with the girls and find some new friends among them all.
We decided to stop at Paasha and get kebabs for dinner.
As we were all very hungry Azzan also picked up hot chips from Milton St when we got home.
Shanni arrived back from her afternoon up the Hacket track with David & Sasha.
She was ecstatic about the walk and was encouraging us to all go up there with her soon.
We all needed some together time so hunkered down with our dinner on the couches and watched ’13 going on 30’.
Well I think I dozed through quite a bit of it cuz Mahalia had to keep prodding me.
I was in bed soon after.
Sat in bed with a glass of Baileys on ice and wished my son bon voyage in spirit.

Saturday 14th November

Another blasted early wakening.
It is really annoying to wake at 4am when I don’t need to be up until 5am.
Oh well, ride the waves….
I was up and waking Mahalia at 5am.
She was rather reticent about getting up.
While she got herself organised I made her porridge for breakfast and some beans & cheese toasties to take with her for a later breakfast before she starts rowing.
She also downed several boiled eggs before leaving so I was happier about the protein input.
As we drove to the Rowing Club at 6am I asked her if she was still keen on continuing with this sport.
I have been concerned as she is getting so tired.
Her response was incredibly positive.
She is passionate about carrying on and is in it for the long haul.
It was a hive of early morning activity at the club.
The seniors were getting ready to go out on the water.
The novices were arriving and the parents were getting the food etc loaded and sorting kids into vehicles etc.
I helped for a few minutes and then once they were all loaded I left.
This is the first novice training camp for the season.
They were going to Lake Rotoroa where the club has it’s own accommodation.
From all accounts it is pretty rustic, like very rustic 😉
It was such a lovely clear morning that I wrapped myself in a blanket, took my porridge and laptop to the outside table and watched the UK X-factor update until the kids woke up.
Azzan is still shifting all his stuff into his room.
He and Shoshannah have swapped rooms again.
Shanni has been sorting and downsizing her things whilst moving and packing her stuff up so she can leave as soon as she knows where and when and what she is doing next.
Azzan has most of his gear still strewn in the lounge as he has been busy at school etc.
At 9:30am I took Caspian walking.
It was quite cool so I had dressed relatively warmly and added a downie and scarf.
Azzan rode his bike alongside us as we walked into the city centre.
While I zipped upstairs to have my fringe trimmed he looked after Caspian.
When Hitomi had finished cutting she ran downstairs to meet him.
Caspian I mean 😉
She had a real clucky session which he enjoyed immensely.
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Azzan & I went and got a Tank smoothie and wait for his friends to arrive.
He was meeting them at the museum at 12:15am.
There was a tad of anxiousness as they were late and he didn’t have their phone numbers.
But in typical female form they turned up fashionably late in triplicate.
So I left my handsome young man in the care of three lovely young ladies and started walking back home.
By the time we got half way back I had stripped off my jacket and scarf.
We called into Tracey’s on the way as she was having a garage sale.
Striped off another layer there!
Chatted a while and finally succumbed to a few bits and pieces from her craft table.
Thankfully it is not far to walk from there as I was hot and tired.
Shoshannah left to go hang out with her friends son after I got back.
I cuddled up in my blankets as it was cool indoors, horizontalised myself on the sofa with my lunch and a movie.
Caspian took my lead and slept beside me.
Guess the walk was long enough for him too 😉
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I ended up watching two movies.
I think I may have dozed through the second one.
The early start to my day was catching up on me.
They were two random ones I found on Netflix.
‘New in Town’ and ‘Love and Other Disasters’.
Just a couple of brainless chick flicks.
All I could deal with today.

Finally managed to stagger off the couch after Azzan arrived back.
He began moving his gear into his bedroom.
I decided to try and do some more clearing in my art room.
Got a bit more done.
Little by little – am getting there 🙂

Nathan arrived back from his very last shift at Cafe Affair.
I went out to help him pack.
Sometimes two sets of hands work a bit more thoroughly and this mother could see that some organisation was required 😉
I folded and packed his clothes into one suitcase while he sorted out junk, recycling and keeping things into another suitcase.
In amongst all of this I suggested I did some copies of his travel documents.
Oh dear!
Where is the passport?
It had completely disappeared from where he last knew it to be.
I unpacked and repacked the clothing.
Went through every pocket.
Nathan retrieved all the trash and went through that carefully.
Searching everywhere to no avail.
I was praying for success.
I could tell there was some intense internal panic going on – very well contained but mothers know these things 😉
Finally in the last suitcase mixed up in a packet of papers to sort last he found it.
Whew!
Thank goodness!!
Thank you Lord 🙂

It was getting late so I hopped in the shower and then drove Shanni & Azzan into the city to meet Nathan and friends for his last night drinks.
They were indoors when we arrived but soon the outdoor tables were vacated so we moved there.
It was a lovely evening.
I had dressed prepared for outside temperatures.
James & Melissa arrived up from Christchurch.
We pulled more tables together as more people arrived.
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Saying goodbye to his three lovely workmates from Cafe Affair.|
Clare, Jess & Suze.
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David & Sasha arrived with Luke.
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These two cousins are only a few weeks apart in age.
I was threatening to drag out the photo from way back then, 20 years ago when they were babes kicking on the rug together 😉IMG_1224IMG_1227
Stina and Pete and Teo were very entertaining 🙂
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As was Sophie who was working and had to put up with plenty of razing from her workmates – she did give back as good as she got through 🙂
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Yari & Nick came for a while.
These three lads have been friends for many years.
They all walk different paths now but enjoy catching up when they can.
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Melissa & Azzan started hanging out over the camera.
The evening start for them here…..
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Somewhere before 9pm we wandered off down to the Sprig & Fern on Hardy to hang out for the rest of the evening.
Azzan went with Nathan & Shoshannah but was turned away for being too young.
We all hung out at the outside tables on the pavement.
I kept close to Azzan and all was well.
Teo caught up with us there too.
He was in fine form 🙂
He’s from Kiribati but after spending the best part of 12+ years here he is very assimilated into Kiwi society.
Almost too well in fact 😉
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So we started with two posers
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Then there were four…
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And from somewhere random appeared a fifth, and then David make 6!
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Me and my lad xxx
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Melissa & Azzan entertained themselves – and us all with their hystronics!
Everything was funny 🙂
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James and Nathan go way back.
20+ years back in fact.
You always need a mate from the past to be a best mate in the present so they can be there for you in the future.
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Nathan & Shoshannah – very difficult to get a half decent photo with these two as candidates!!
Or maybe it is mainly Shanni 😉
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Then the cuzzies decided to take selfies.
What an act they are!
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Li’l bro &  big bro – I’m figuring there will be a considerable change height difference next time they see each other.
The thing that never changes though is th fact that you have to take a million photos to actually get the one!
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Craziness on the streets at 11pm!
Oh my goodness, whats that boy doing outside a pub at 11pm on a Friday night?
Terrible mother that I am was actually part of the party 😉
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These two juveniles were the life and soul of the party.
Their senses of humour outweighed everyone else and their hilarity was unbounding 🙂
Shanni checking heights – cuz as we know, when you are 13 height is vitally important.
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Soon after this I called it a night and took my lad home.
These other two self professing oldies were planning to leave too.
It’s tough getting old eh 😉
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It was a lovely night – good fun.
Shanni & Nathan carried on until much later with the other ‘younger ones’  and walked home – in the rain!

Friday 13th November

Azzan had his Year 9 entrance exams this morning so he wanted to be nutritionally prepared.
He had a good plate of porridge and I made him some carrot, apple and celery juice to drink and more to take with him.
He also took a salad filled whole grain bread roll.
The school was providing all the boys with a bbq lunch.
I offered to drive him but I wasn’t going to pick him up after school so he managed to squeeze his bike into the back of my car.
Didn’t think it would so I was most surprised.
On the way I was entertained by him chattering on about me ‘failing Mother of the Year because I had not posted anything about/for/to him on FB for his birthday. No embarrassing mushy stuff or baby photos for his mates to tease him about, nothing!’
Oh dear, I am such a failure ;-/
So to make up for that, and because we had plenty of time, and because I want to see it too,  I diverted to show him something I had seen posted about on Jonathan’s FB page last night.
When Azzan saw this his socks were blown right off his not so little 13yr old feet.
He was so excited, it made his morning and hopefully the diversion has made up for all my other failures.

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I went to tag him in the photos later and discovered he had unfriended me.
One internet safety rule I have is that I have to be able to access his social media or he is not on there!
When I hassled him about it later he responded with a very cheeky smile that he had been waiting to see how long it would take for me to realise!!
I was really tempted to get that head of his into the sharks mouth 🙂
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Back home to get some things done.
Main one was to make a huge potato salad for Mahalia’s rowing camp.
I roused Mahalia out of bed around 10am.
She is so tired at the moment, it was good she can have Friday’s to sleep in and get some recovery time.
She is taking on board my comments re eating properly.
This was her breakfast today – she got a double yolker as well!
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Seb & Phoebe arrived out soon after with Sapphie.
Poor wee Sapphie doesn’t travel terribly well so we feeling a bit out of sorts.
I so remember those days of carting little people in and out to town, and having them throwing up with car sickness.
Not pleasant for them or the parents 😦
Phoebe had come to cook a farewell brunch for Nathan so Sapphie sat on the bench and watched as her mother set to cooking up a storm.
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She decided it was easier to just fill plates in shifts that try and do everyones all at once.
It didn’t take long before the first plates of food were being demolished by my two lads.
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Then Marah arrived with Rachel and the two wee poppets.
The uncles were in for cuddles fairly quickly 🙂
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It didn’t take too much convincing for Marah & Rachel to join us for brunch.
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Aaliyah was keen to have some too.
Bit mean of Uncle Nathan to lie her so close to the bacon 😉
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Once the cooking was over Aunty Phoebe was in for her cuddles with the smoochy wee niece.
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In the meantime Eden had been exploring and was delighted to find the bears.
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Sapphie & Eden were so cute together.
Eden rubbed Sapphie’s back to make her feel better.
And it worked!
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So off they went for a walk together.
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Rachel cleaned up the dishes and helped me with the potato salad.
It was taking a long time to make due to the busy kitchen so I was incredibly grateful for her help.
Aaliyah was ready for a sleep so Marah bundled them into the car and headed back home with Rachel.
It was such a treat to have them all here to join the fun.
Caspian had such a lovely time with the wee girls.
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It was all too soon for Seb & Phoebe to head home so I grabbed some final photos.
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And goodbye kisses for Uncle Nathan.
He’s so gonna miss these wee nieces.
I’ve seen him really enjoying them over the past few months.
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Turned around and grabbed a quick pic of my two baby girls.
Two beautiful, strong, wonderful young women.
Two peas from the same pod, vastly different but incredibly similar.
Just like all my other darlings – such incredibly recognisable genes.
People who don’t know my kids always know which family they come from even if they don’t specifically know the individual 🙂
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Fond farewells over the fence.
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Mahalia showing me how she escapes!
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Just as their car pulled out and left I spotted Azzan biking home from the other direction.
I was really sad to hear that he had actually finished his school day an hour early but because the bike area is not unlocked until 3pm he couldn’t leave, so he missed out on spending time with the others.
He was very happy about the entrance exams.
He felt he had done as well as he could, so we now wait with anticipation to see where he is placed.
He has been getting some positive comments from one of the teachers recently so is very hopeful he will get into the accelerant class.
Tonight most of his friends were going to the father/son Honours night so he decided not to go to Youth Group as they wouldn’t be there.
He was still adamant he didn’t want to go but tonight he was a bit conflicted about his decision.
No substitute will ever fill that special place in your heart.

The afternoon was disappearing so Mahalia flew about getting ready to go to rowing gym training and then off to load the boats straight afterwards.
Nathan came in to find her to say goodbye but unfortunately in her hast she had forgotten he was leaving and had left already, so I arrange to bring her into his work later.
All the socialising had exhausted me and the busyness had prevented me from finishing the potato salad.
So I got stuck in and completed it.
Shanni started making the salad dressing for me but the kitchen whiz wasn’t being very successful so I transferred it all into the Vitamin and added some more oil and it thickened beautifully.
I had just guessed at the amounts so was pleased to find I had made more than enough.
I filled up the three required containers and had another leftover.
Tracey came by with a tray of baking.
She had offered to help out as she loves to bake.
I was incredibly grateful to her for this.
There have been some major consequences from Tim’s death for me.
Ones that many people can and do observe.
But there have also been some less obvious ones.
Two of them involve reading and cooking.
I used to read copious amounts of literature, reading a book every day or two was normal for me.
I also cooked & baked for large numbers for years, a small family meal was 5 or 6 of us, the norm could be 12-20 people around the table.
Whipping up a batch of scones or muffins was done without much effort at all.
Now I can not concentrate on reading so have barely finished 3-4 books in the past 2.5 years.
As for cooking, I do the bare necessities to ensure we are fed healthily and well, but the children do a vast percentage of it.
And the idea of baking churns my stomach in knots.
Plus that fact that this kitchen is still not my familiar, and I still have no idea how to operate the oven here.
Because I use it so infrequently I have to call Mahalia to turn it on for me if I need to use it :-/
I rely mainly on the mini oven, the slow cooker and the frypans.
So for Tracey to offer to bake was such a relief and an absolute Godsend.
I quickly allocated the slice and biscuits from her tray into containers so the vultures wouldn’t devour them before the were sent off to camp!

When Mahalia came home just after 6pm she was so hungry she scoffed down a heap of the extra potato salad, got herself changed and came into town with me.
I had to exchange one of the bins I had bought for Shanni a couple of days ago from The Warehouse as it was split.
I was relieved to hear the attendant remark that they get a lot of broken ones back as I had thought it was my fault.
Then we went to find Nathan.
We had to park some distance away, town was still quite busy even though it was 7pm.
Got to Cafe Affair and found the place was totally manic.
Every table was full and the staff were flat out.
Nathan couldn’t stop for long.
Just had time to give his little sister a big hug goodbye.
It was a very tough call for her and she didn’t want to let him go.
Finally we had to leave and I sat outside with her and held her while she cried.
Goodbyes are so hard, especially when you’ve lost so much you love already.
We came back home and I packed up the food and got as much as I could ready for the morning.
Mahalia took a while to get sorted and as it was getting late and she was physically and emotionally exhausted I was keen to get her lights off as we had a very early start in the morning.

Thursday 12th November

The temperatures have really plummeted.
With the rain last night came a really chilly over night low.
The two kids were not great this morning.
Azzan was really tired & droopy with big black circles under his eyes and Shoshannah is just plain miserable with being sick.
Azzan headed off to school on his bike with an enforced lunch as he was claiming he wasn’t hungry and didn’t want to eat.
I know from experience that this can change in a flash and boys appetites grow within  minutes!
I was on pager today and had two scheduled call outs.
I like it when I know in advance then I can get myself mentally prepared for some of the day.
I was just about to leave when Sue called in to get Caspian.
She was going for a walk and took him with her.
He was delighted.
I attended the call out and when I had some spare moments I zipped into some pharmacies and health shops looking for some Lypo-Spheric C for  Shanni.
Couldn’t locate it so ended up talking it over with Renata and buying some Viraforte instead.
Shanni caught the bus out to Richmond as she had her Yr 13 English exam to sit.
I had to laugh cuz as I walked down Trafalgar street I spotted a very familiar looking puppy.
It was Caspian with Sue talking to some folk in the street.
He was having a right social experience.
He was happy to see me but also quite happy to stay with Sue.

I had time after my first job to come home for an hour and have some lunch.
Caspian was returned soon after and was happy to curl up and snooze.
I zipped off to my next call out around 12:30pm.
It took a while longer than the first so while the police interview was happening I went and chilled out at The Bakers.
Haven’t been there for ages so I enjoyed a mocha and a two of their delectable pastries.
But alas, not sampling their wares for a while has made my stomach less appreciative so I paid for the overkill later.
I should have just settled for one :-/
Mahalia arrived back from her camp so I picked up her bag and delivered it home.
Had time to put on a load of washing for her before buzzing back to my client.
Mahalia had to help with washing down of the kayaks and cleaning up so she walked home later.
After I had finished the call out I went to the office to file my reports and then on the way home I debriefed to Jenni via bluetooth.
It is good to be able to have a hands free conversation – love it!!
Multi tasking at its best 😉
Soon afterwards the weather really took a turn for the worst and to Azzan’s delight it began to hail.
He was chasing it about the lawn for a few minutes but then got too cold so ran back inside.
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Mahalia had to try catching some too.
It was bouncing on the deck, looked really pretty.
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We had a grocery delivery at 5:30pm so put them all away and then made up a chicken casserole in the slow cooker for tomorrow’s dinner.
Had black bean stew for dinner with rice and fresh grainy buns – yum!


Wednesday 11th November

Mahalia was all packed up and ready to go before 8am.
Azzan left on his bike and we followed him down the street.
He gave a cheery wave as we zipped past him.
He’s still a bit of a kamikaze – I try not to worry about him on the bike.
I dropped Mahalia and her large bag off at NMIT where she was joining her classmates on a two day overnight camping trip in Golden Bay.
Then back home again for breakfast.
I began making a large pot of bean stew for dinner.
I was expecting two friends to call in and around 9am they both arrived at the same time.
Caspian greeted them both as I introduced them as ‘Sue meet Sue’!
Sue used to wwoof for us a few years ago and now lives just up the road from me.
She likes to walk and recently offered to take Caspian walking with her sometimes, so had come to suss out his gear today so she is all ready for tomorrow while I am at work.
She then left and Sue and I settled in for a good ole natter over our lattes.
Shanni arrived home looking not too well.
Seems to be a few left over winter bugs still flying around 😦
She found food and then retreated to her bed for most of the day.
Sue and I talked the morning away.
It was really lovely to finally get to spend time with each other again – its been far too long since we were little girls together way back then.
We ran out of time before we ran out of talk.
Before I had to leave though I got the black bean stew completed.
I divided it in half and added mince to one and spinach to the other.
Said goodbye to Sue and headed round the port to meet Nathan at Styx.
He had been to see Roni and pick up his travel papers.
We ordered our food.
It was very good.
Nathan had the Styx breakfast and I enjoyed the salmon on mashed potato and spinach.
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I celebrated my last meal with my son with a midday cocktail but Nathan insisted that they remove the vodka.
He didn’t want his mother getting into strife 😉
It was really nice to have some one on one time with him before he leaves.
Only 4 more sleeps till he heads away.
I called into The Warehouse on the way home to find some storage bins for Shoshannah to pack her gear into.
She is also preparing to make a move out into the big wide world.
Big changes afoot in our household over the next few weeks and months.
I got home and had time to have a short rest before going out again.
Azzan arrived in from school around 3:30pm.
No tennis today as it was beginning to rain.
Shanni was tucked up in bed still not looking great.
Azzan was very heavy eyed and tired.
I could barely move myself out of my own way.
Finally managed to drag myself off of my bed and out the gate and off to work to our monthly supervisory meeting.
Had a good catch up with the team and got back home soon after 7:30pm.
Azzan had been resting in bed and was looking rather dazed.
I got him headed back to bed after we shared some fruit and ice cream and I helped him with his maths.
We had a lovely good night session of tickles and giggles and hugs.

Tuesday 10th November

This morning I actually dressed and breakfasted before the kids left for school so I took Caspian and walked half way with Mahalia.
Came home around the block the long way so he got a morning outing before I had to leave.
The forecast was for a high of 20’C so I had put on a sundress and cardigan to begin with.
But the cloud cover wasn’t lifting and it was rather cool so I changed into jeans.
I was getting myself ready and was just 10 minutes from walking out the door when Becky arrived.
She had come to deliver a big hug.
I so appreciate that Becky, just sorry I couldn’t stay longer.
Make a next time real soon eh?
Got myself another big hug and then walked up and met Tracey at the corner.
We walked into the city to the movies.
Tracey had tickets for us to see The Dressmaker.
I got myself armed up with a chocolate covered vanilla ice cream cone – cuz why else do you go to the movies?  😉
What a fun movie.
It was classified as a horror comedy.
And in true Australian form the humour was great.
I wouldn’t really class it as a horror.
The costumes were spectacular.
And the cast were wonderful.
Might just have to read the book now!
It certainly was a good way to take my mind off my problems.
Afterwards we whizzed over to Kathmandu to pick up some thermals for Mahalia.
The rowing clubs are pedantic about the colours worn during regattas.
Navy tops only – and guess what?
All the kids including Mahalia wear black!
We walked back home as I had another date at 1pm.
Had a few minutes up my sleeve so whizzed in and changed for the 3rd time today as the sunshine had b burst out from the clouds and it was now really warm.

Olwyn met me at the Sprig and we wiled away some time there over coffee & spiral fries.
It was a lovely afternoon.
Caspian curled up under our chairs and waited patiently.
Finally we left and came back home so I could show Olwyn where I now live.
Mahalia went straight to Kip McGrath and Nathan went out for dinner with friends so it was just Azzan & I at home.
My little fruit trees are doing really well.
The grapefruit trees are in blossom.
The peach tree has two small fruit forming.
And the Nectarine tree that I thought was dying has all of a sudden begun sprouting.
So I’m pretty happy 🙂
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Everyone is really tired at present.
Foot draggingly tired.
Not too sure exactly why.
Maybe daylight saving, or kids are growing, or we are all feeling the stress at present.
Azzan came and had a cuddle before he went off to bed.
I headed off to bed and watched one of the latest ‘Call the Midwife’ series before falling asleep.

Monday 9th November

If I’d known what a terrible horrible no good bad day today was going to be I would never had gotten out of bed!
I woke incredibly early 4:17am to be precise.
And I couldn’t get back to sleep so sat in bed and caught up with emails etc.
Mahalia went to rowing, yes she managed to wake to the alarm this time 😉
Azzan left for school quite early.
He like to go hang out with his friends before class begins.
Mahalia flew in the door exhausted.
She had not had a good session at rowing.
Was struggling for energy.
Mother lecture about correct food intake ensued.
While she got ready for class I made her lunch and a decent breakfast of eggs on toast with marmite, tomatoes, parsley and cheese.
She had no choice but to eat it all up!!
Then she biked to class as she was running behind schedule.
Once they were all gone I was taking 5 and having my own breakfast when I received a phone call which plunged my spirits considerably.
Just another hiccup in the business realms.
I am so tired, so incredibly tired of trying to sort out everything.
Then Leita called a few moments later for a health check.
Perfect timing -first tears of the day began.
While I talked to her I multi tasked.
Put the puppy in his cage, moved the car out onto the street, let the puppy out again and locked up the house in preparation to head off to my therapy appointment.
More tears shed.
I was so drained when I returned I went and lay down on the sofa and had a rest for a couple of hours.
Watched a documentary called ‘Twinsters‘ which was quite interesting but also mundane enough that I was able to doze through some of it.
Tried to do some more business stuff but too stressful.
Flipped out over some things and shut the laptop.
Just not dealing well with it all right now.
Tim and I were a team.
We ran our businesses together for all those years and now I am flying solo.
Actually feel like I am flying on one wing.
When things were not going well we would always counter each other and form a balance to deal with the pressures.
But now I feel helpless, like I’m drowning in it all.
I just want out.
But that’s not possible yet.

Phoebe popped in for a quick visit with Sapphie.
She took Uncle Nathan for a walk.
Love these photos 🙂
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Everything caught up with me in the early evening and I just lost it.
Cried like I haven’t done in ages and probably have needed to for a while.
Nathan was right there for me.
Man! I am going to miss his hugs.
Then I got more hugs from Azzan.
He’s one powerful hugging machine – he’s going to crack ribs when he’s bigger!
I laid on my bed and Mahalia gave me a facial.
It was really lovely to just shut my eyes for half an hour.
I made some Israeli couscous for dinner.
I retreated to my bed and talked to a friend on the phone for an hour or so.
I just needed someone to talk to who wasn’t going to tell me what to do, or how I should be, or what I should be feeling, or thinking, or doing………
Felt a lot better afterwards.
Thanks Cynthia.
Right friend, right time, right shoulder.
An absolutely draining day.

 

Sunday 8th November

Today was Anson’s 30th birthday!
30 years since the birth of my first born son.
A momentous occasion indeed.
Our much loved and treasured little boy.
Now a Daddy to two gorgeous wee girls himself.
30 years gone in a flash.
Nostalgic much – yes I am today.
I could write a book about this young lad alone!
He certainly had some close calls and adventures throughout his younger years!
Kept us all on our toes!!
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We all piled into my car around 10am and headed south to spend the day celebrating with him.
We were the first to arrive.
It was a beautiful spring day.
Perfect for a bbq.
The kids began blowing up balloons.
Azzan had brought Eden a jar of dried fruit which she immediately tipped out and then start filling the jar with balloons.
Kept her occupied for ages 🙂
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Aaliyah kept Rachel occupied for ages too 🙂
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I took Rachel for a tiki tour as she is staying here to wwoof for Marah this week.
Nathan strung up a running lead across the garden for Caspian so he could run about but not get inside under foot.
Sylvia & Martin arrived soon after us.
The breeze began to bounce the balloons gently out the doors so Sylvia captured them and strung them up with lengths of string.
Eden was quite distressed to find all the balloons hung up high and kept telling us they should be ‘down’!
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Ross & Andrea were next to arrive.
Anson got the bbq cranked up and began cooking the meats, while the rest of us managed the remaining foods in the kitchen.
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There was a delicious selection of meats & salads for lunch.
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Suss & Shane, Jotham & Emma all arrived just before lunch.
Suss & I went for a wander in the garden with Marah.
So many lovely treasures, colours, shapes and smells to admire.
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Amidst the bustle Eden enjoyed some snuggle time with her Mum.
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Dessert time.
Shoshannah made her big bro a birthday cake.
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Happy Birthday to you, Anson.
Love you enormously xxx
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Aaliyah did the rounds of willing baby sitters during the day.
I caught Uncle Nathan and Graham entertaining themselves her!!
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Graham & Nathan having a final catch up.
Nathan is on countdown now so most meetings over these few weeks are to say Tschüss.
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And then all too soon the day was drawing to a close for some of us.
Mahalia needed to get home as she has her early rowing start tomorrow to prepare for, so she left with Martin & Sylvia.
I tried to get some photos before she left but Ross & Shoshannah kept photobombing.
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This was the only one without them in it!!
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Unfortunately I gave up and then realised after Mahalia had gone that I had not taken any family photos of the kids together.
Most remiss of me especially with Nathan’s imminent departure :-/

The weather had packed it in by this point.
The sun had disappeared and rain was setting in.
Azzan walked down the hill to take photos.
It took a while longer than I had planned to leave because there was too much talking to be done 😉
Finally extracted myself, goodbyes said and hugs given.
Zipped up to the shed to find Nathan who was fraternising with the guys there.
Then we were off and away.
Azzan was sheltering in the barn so slowed to let him jump in.
We drove straight home.
All of us rather weary.
Mahalia was home getting ready for the morning and was in bed by 6pm.
I was shattered so lay down for an hour to rest.
Then at 7:20pm I decided that maybe I should change out of my sundress and put on something more suitable for a grey wet evening walk.
Was intent on getting my jeans and jacket on so got a real fright when Mahalia staggered in my bedroom door exclaiming ‘Mum, I’ve slept through my alarm again!’
She was really dazed & upset.
I assured her that she had in fact only slept for an hour and a half and it was 7:20pm not 7:20am!
Very much relieved she went back to bed.
I made sure Azzan was okay, he was also heading off to bed.
Went to let Nathan know I was leaving and found him sound asleep on top of his bed.
This partying business is hard work 😉
I needed a walk so grabbed my brolly and walked to the next event.
The final party for the weekend!
I had been invited by Kate to join the celebrations for her mother’s birthday.
They had a family dessert party.
As Sue & Lloyd have recently moved to Nelson it was a good way to meet them.
They only live about 3 blocks from me now so nice to greet new neighbours.
Kate’s in laws are Margaret & David so they were there along with all their extended family.
It was a lovely evening.
I was grateful to Liz & Vaito for offering me a ride home as it was much later and darker than I had planned on returning.
It was all dark & quiet when I retuned home around 10pm.
Caspian performed his guard dog duties and began barking as soon as I opened the gate.
He greeted me at the door so I put him to bed and then gave Azzan some goodnight cuddles as the commotion had woken him up.
I was very glad to fall into bed tonight!