Thursday 31st December

The last day of 2015.

A day of mixed emotions.
I woke in a lot of pain.
Last nights bath helped me sleep but the back/hip pain was really bad when I got out of bed.
Lots to do though so I boxed on through gritted teeth.
Woke Azzan and got him up and moving.
He had planned to go to work for a few hours, but on waking decided he really needed to spend time cleaning up around here.
He had begun cleaning my car ages ago, the inside had been done but not the outside.
While I cringed and cried my way into my clothes he went out and soaped and waxed the car.
Only trouble is, he has never done this before and didn’t know how exactly to complete the job so when I left for work the whole exterior was still covered in unpolished smeared dried wax!
I think this might be an educational opportunity for John to teach him on his return from Oz so future cleaning jobs will have a sparkly finish 😉
Azzan was feeling a bit conflicted about going.
I could see that he was going to miss his mates and hopefully me 😉 but he was also excited about going to see his big sister.
Aware of the days timeframes I was getting frustrated because he wasn’t moving along as fast and as organised as I was needing him too.
My extremely high pain levels caused me to lose the plot a tad and I had a really good cry in the kitchen whilst trying to find the right pain killers and anti inflammatories, plus eat some food that I really didn’t feel like, just to get something into my stomach before they hit the bottom.
Finally I left him to it and I drove myself down to work.
I managed to do two hours, the movement actually helped free things up a little bit but I was hobbling around and in obvious pain so they suggested I finish early.
I didn’t argue!
Azzan had walked Caspian and was nearly finished cleaning his room.
I had already packed his suitcase last night as I wanted to ensure all the treats he was taking over to Jesika were safe and secure.
Marah and the wee girls arrived with some friends while I was eating my lunch.
Had to have some more food with the next load of painkillers :-/
It was lovely to see them all.
Eden has a favourite very warm cuddly top which she insisted on wearing today inspire of the extreme heat.
She was all red and sweaty but wouldn’t take it off until she wanted a banana and I bribed it off her in exchange for one – extreme measures got desired results.
After a while the friends took their wee girls off to the park for lunch.
Azzan had taken Eden outside and she was in the pool in a flash.
Perfect day for a splash or two with her uncle 🙂
Time was marching on so I left Marah cooling both girls down and we zoomed off towards the airport.
I stopped for Azzan to run in and say goodbye to John & Sally and then on to the airport.
There was a glitch on the way.
My camera?
Where was it?
Oh he must’ve packed into his luggage he thought.
We had to get there 1.5hours early – 80 minutes for the international and an extra 20 minuntes for the unaccompanied minor details to be sorted.
We opened up his luggage before checking in but there was no camera.
The main purpose of his trip was to do photography sessions with Jesika.
He shares her passion for this activity.
Check out her wonderful photos here on her Jesika B Photography FB page.
One sad boy :-/
So once he was signed in, given his neck tag and Airband we had plenty of time to go have a drink and snack.
His last meal of choice for 2015 in NZ was a steak pie 🙂
I am very impressed with the new system AirNZ has in place for their unaccompanied minors.
Both myself and Jesika were getting text updates each time he was checked though another stage of his journey.
It certainly helped to lessen the stress from both of us.
Although, maybe it didn’t completely remove it from me because finally he asked me not to talk about the trip any more cuz I was stressing him!!
So, change of conversation……………
I was only trying to ensure he kept his belongings safe along the way.
I checked through his backpack to make sure everything was in the right pockets for him to access.
In so doing I felt right down the bottom of the largest pocket, underneath his iPad and jumper and found – ta da!!
A camera!
One happy lad 🙂
Then his flight was called and I embarrassed him totally by insisting on farewell hugs and kisses at the gate – isn’t that what mothers are for??

It was a bit daunting leaving my baby to fly off into the blue yonder.
Left the airport feeling a bit flat and empty.
Stopped off at Leita’s.
Still recovering from the airport coffee so opted for iced water.
We relaxed back in their very comfortable recliners and talked the next hour or so away.
I received a call from an unknown cell phone.
It was Azzan in Auckland whilst in transit calling on the staff phone.
I’ve lost my phone.
Sad boy 😦
Oh well, nothing I can do from here.
Half an hour later I received a text.
From Azzan.
‘I’ve found my phone wrapped up in my passport’!
Happy boy 🙂
Can you see why I have a reason to be concerned 😉

Leita had gotten a large supply of fresh apricots and had kept back 10kgs for me.
When I was driving home I munched my way through quite a few, had juice everywhere!
So delicious.
Caspian was pleased to see me back.
He followed me around for the rest of the day while I stripped my bed, put the washing through, hung out a couple of loads, put out rubbish, etc.
I didn’t get to cook my dinner until after 8pm.
It’s rather nice doing things out in the cool after such hot days.
I fried up some wiener schnitzel, reheated potato cheese bake and cauliflower, and added the freshly cooked beetroot I had done yesterday.
Sat back and watched a movie of my choice.
No one home to argue with tonight!!
I chose ‘The Cinderella Story’ – a nice easy funny chick flick.
When it was half way through I remembered I hadn’t remade my bed.
I had just bought a new duvet cover set and was wanting to put it on and make my room all pretty for the New Year.
But I realised on opening the packet that I had rightly bought a queen size cover for my queen size bed.
However, I had forgotten that I am still using my super king duvet inner that I bought several years ago so the cover is way to small.
Should I exchange the cover for a larger one?
should I buy a queen inner which would fit my bed better?
Well at close to midnight that was not a question answered practically so I shelved it to ponder on tomorrow.
Needless to say, I am absolutely delighted with the set though.
I had found it at Bed Bath & Table while in Auckland with Estelle in October, but as it wasn’t in that sale I left it.
This is a new to NZ store which is only open in a few cities – unfortunately not Nelson as yet.
Then on Boxing Day I remembered it again and hopped online to see if it was perchance listed in the current sale.
It sure was!!
So I called up the Christchurch store and they happily posted the set up to me.
It arrived on New Years Eve – perfect timing 🙂
It is called Botanica and until I get mine set up to view here is what it looks like.
It is so pretty and fresh and the fabric is delicious.
I love it 🙂
I made the mistake of going back to the movie and then finding another to watch.
So I saw the New Year in watching ‘Leap Year‘.
I had seen it before, but loved watching it over again.
My heart was a bit sad and mournful tonight so watching fluffy romantic movies bathed it somewhat.
My Timmy was a romantic at heart.
He was such a country boy, basic, down to earth, what you saw was what you got.
No pretensions at all.
And he loved like that.
From a heart of simple love, simple romantic gestures.
Nothing flowery and grandiose.
He would bring me little rose buds, the first sprigs of daphne.
He cared deeply and protectively.
And he teased mercilessly – with his cheeky grin telling me how much he loved me without any words necessary.
I think I gleaned something of Tim from the character of Declan.

After I went to bed I could hear heaps of fireworks exploding around the neighbourhood.
I stood out on the front deck and watched for a wee while.
Welcome 2016.
I wonder what you have in store for me?
I sure hope it will be better than the past 3 years.
The glimpses through the cracks in the door look rather busy already.
I hope I will have  some time to just ‘be’ this year.
I’m tired.



Wednesday 30th December

Work again for both Azzan I this morning.
I left him to finish up and raced down the street just before 9am.
It was a very grey day today.
Rain was threatening but nothing came of it until evening.
Azzan left at 9:30am and biked around to Tahunanui in time for his 10am start.
I am getting wonderful reports of his workability which is really lovely.
I am finding my right shoulder and my left hip are being incredibly troublesome and the cleaning I am doing is exacerbating it.
I was on call today as well so I took the car just in case I had a call out.
I left work at midday and drove over to the hospital to pick up something from Sasha.
Then home to meet up with Azzan.
I was discussing travel insurance with Roni when I got an urgent plea from Azzan.
He wanted to zip into the city to meet a few friends to say goodbye.
This goodbye business has been going on for days, you’d think he was never coming back!!
Guess its great he has got friends that care 🙂
So he biked in and I followed after I’d finished chatting with Roni.
I did the bank stuff and he got a haircut at ‘Barber on Buxton’ – which both he and I really liked so I figure that he’ll be happy to return to her.
I was struggling to walk without pain so was not wanting to hang around town any longer.
Azzan biked home and I drove.
WE were both hungry so I made some toasted filled pita paninis and we snuggle up together an watched a movie.
It was really funny ‘Blast from the Past’.
Nice to have some chalet time together.
Then I got dinner started.
Already had some mutton chops roasting in the little oven.
I made cauliflower cheese and roast potatoes and parsnip.
I was trying to get Azzan moving along with his packing but it wasn’t happening so we ended up having a bit of a barney :-/
Finally I got him to separate out the clothes he wanted to take and I packed them in and around the extra stuff he is delivering.
Then there was the bedroom to be cleaned and tidied – again!
Azzan raked and sweet up the gravel on the drive.
It had been raining slightly but after he finished it came in a bit heavier.
Dinner was absolutely delicious.
Haven’t had roast mutton for so long I can’t recall when.
I left him to clean up after and I spent a couple of hours soaking in a bath with Epson Salts.
My back is so painful I can barely move.
The pain grabs me with certain movements.
I’ve been almost in tears this afternoon.
The pain has been making it way harder to cope with getting things done and with motivating a certain lad.
It was the pain that made me lose it with him earlier 😦
I need to see someone but with holidays it is difficult to get in anywhere that might be open.
Azzan filled me a hottie so I am now reclining on my bed with the heat soothing my back.
Am hoping it will be a lot better in the morning……………



Tuesday 29th December

Up early this morning.
Louisa was at the supermarket doors as thy opened.
She stocked up on food and fuel and then returned for breakfast and to load Oliver & Mahalia and their gear.
They left just after 8:30am and headed down to the bay.
Mahalia was really happy to be going, even for just a few days, as it is a year since she has been home.
I left Azzan getting ready to head off to his work, with instructions on what to do with Caspian and the house etc.
I was chasing my tail to get out the door in time to be at work by 9am.
While Mahalia is away I am covering for her.
I spent 3 hours cleaning.
I surely am far to old for this lark!
By the end of it all I was exhausted and very ready to go home.
It was with a certain sense of accomplishment though 😉
It was very hot again.
Caspian was very pleased to see me.
I opened the house up and let the cool breezes waft through.
I really love this house of ours in the summer – it is so easy to keep cool inside.
I had just made my lunch when Azzan arrived back.
He was hot and weary.
I had a list of chores to be done but he needed to crash out and recover first.
But soon after he was invited to join his friends for the afternoon, and as it was the last time before he flies away for 2.5 weeks I let him go.
I spent an hour or so watching a movie in the cool of the lounge.
Then into town for my 4pm appointment at Nelson Beauty Therapy for some maintenance.
Afterwards I walked over to Kuske to get my sunglasses fixed.
They had been knocked out of my hands yesterday and the lens had flown free.
I was upset because they are very expensive prescription glasses which I can’t afford to replace right now.
Anyway, they fixed them easily thankfully.
I have had them for so many years I can’t remember when I got them!
So I am in need of un upgrade as my eyesight has changed a lot since I got them.
I had fun trying on lots of funky frames.
I found one I loved so they have made a note of it and when I am ready to upgrade it will be nice and simple.
My daytime glasses are going to be ready for reassessment mid next year so I suppose I need to be saving towards them too.
Between eyes and teeth life gets rather expensive 😦
I arrived home after 5pm.
Azzan only just beat me back.
He was much later than he was supposed to be so I did milk that fact and got a good amount of chores done while I made dinner 😉
He got the washing in, restocked the firewood and cleaned up the wood pile, then stacked up the cardboard rubbish.
I had a bit of a crash tonight.
All of a sudden just felt really sad and down.
It didn’t last for too long, just enough to be upsetting and make me feel fractious.
It’s crazy how it just hits out of left field when you are least expecting it.

I made a delicious potato cheese bake, mashed carrots and parsnip with crumbed fish.
Azzan was most impressed, he reckoned I had excelled myself tonight!
It was about 8pm when we had dinner.
Then after 9pm we decided to pop down to the supermarket and try and locate a few things for him to take over to Jesika.
Went to both New World & Countdown and managed to get what we needed just before they closed.
Back home after 10pm.
Tomorrow is the last day for me to get him all packed and ready to go and I know it is going to be busy so hence shopping tonight.
Quite nice just having him here on his own.
Had a little bit of mum/son snuggle time while we watched Good Luck Charlie.
We have now finished both Seasons 1 and 2.
Hope Netflix hurries up and gets the next two seasons on soon.

Monday 28th December

Shoshannah began texting me at 7:40am.
She was setting out on her first long road journey so we had arranged that she would text me from each stop along the way.
She did just that.
It was good to know she had made each section of the drive safely and finally arrived into Christchurch.
Well done Shanni 🙂
Mahalia left for work just before 9am and Azzan left on his bike at 9:30am.
I had the day to myself so planned to get stuck into the accounts.
It was a low cloud cool morning.
I gathered up all of my papers and got them out to the kitchen table.
Called up Sunni for a chat as we had both been busy to talk for long when she called on Christmas Day.
Then Mary-Anne messaged to say she would call in for a coffee at 11am.
At 10am walked to the Post Office to post a couple of parcels.
Thought I would pick up a couple of scones for morning tea but discovered it was closed till later.
Then it dawned on me that it was indeed a public holiday today!!
So with the last sad lonely wrap left in the fridge I made a ‘pizza’.
Spread it with fig chutney, chopped spring onion & capsicum and cheese and by the time Mary-Anne arrived it was cooked and waiting to be devoured.
It was really delicious.
She brought Cully & Diesel with her.
Cully is an old dog at 14 so not terribly interested in burning around with my madcap pup.
Diesel is a beautiful border collie of a much younger age and he put up with Caspian’s playful antics for a while but eventually let him know that enough is enough!
We chatted for a while and then Mahalia arrived home and M-A left to go home.
The clouds had cleared and the day was very hot once again.
As we stood outside the gate saying goodbye a friend of hers pulled up so they went off to have lunch together 🙂

I was then back to thinking of tackling the accounts again when Renata phoned to invite me up for a coffee.
Dither, dither…
Accounts or Renata?
Of course Renata won – she’s very persuasive 😉
Mahalia was making filled pitas for lunch so she made me one which I quickly toasted in the sandwich press.
I grabbed my sunhat, took Caspian’s lead with one hand and my very hot pita in the other and walked down the street.
It was a public holiday so she had opted to take the day off.
We had a lovely afternoon chatting in the cool.
Watching madcap dogs tear around the place exhausting themselves and then collapsing on either side of her for a while before tearing off again.
Caspian loves being allowed to snuggle up on the couch – something he’s not allowed to do at home!

Azzan went from work to the beach to hang out with his friends.
He called up and asked if he could go berry picking with Georgia and family.
Of course I placed a condition on that activity!
He could go as long as he picked me some berries 😉
I walked back home around 5pm.
Mahalia had been sun baking while I was out.
She is as brown as a berry.
Azzan was delivered back by Yuri and Georgia complete with an ice cream container of blue berries 🙂
After dinner the kids went off for a photo session at the park.
Martin & Sylvia came to visit around 7pm.
Stayed for a cuppa and a chat.
Kids arrived back later on.
I’ve been trying to get Azzan to get himself organised re packing etc for his trip but its like pushing muck uphill at times.
Im aware of what I have on this week and I don’t want it left till the last minute.
Got him off to bed around 9:30pm and was trying to get Mahalia moving too but these long hot evenings are not conducive to earlyish nights.
Louisa arrived with Oliver close on 10pm.
As they hadn’t been here before they were keen for a tour even though it was late and darkish.
Suitably impressed and loving my new home, we finally got back to the kitchen and I made a cuppa and we devoured a specialty chocolate mousse cake Louisa had been given.
Then it was off to bed as it was nearing midnight.
Louisa was able to crash into Shanni’s bed and Oliver slept on the couch, proclaiming it to be very comfortable.

Sunday 27th December

All the kids had work this morning so they were up and gone early.
Azzan biked half an hour around to Tahunanui to work with John at the motel.
His first day so he was pretty stoked.
I was a bit apprehensive as Rocks Road is not a terribly forgiving route for cyclists at present.
He got there safely so all good.
I was about to leave just before 10am.
Thankfully I had planned to walk today because on opening my gate I was greeted with this.
My Goodness!!
Cant people read?
I now have two large No Parking signs on my gate.
There were at least 3 empty parks behind him and 4 ahead plus plenty across the road.
And where does he/she choose to park?
Right outside my gate!!!
I couldn’t see him/her anywhere so left as I as running late.
Have since emailed the company – silly doing something like this with company logos all over your vehicle!!

Walked up the road to help Mahalia at work, but found everything was under control so walked back home again.
Spent the morning moving things around and having a clean up.
It was another very hot day so I had every window open.
Love this house in summer as it is easy to cool down.
Mahalia arrived home around 11am and decided to get the swimming pool out.
A few minutes later she came hurtling inside rabbiting on nonsensically about something terrifying in the shed.
Discovered she had unearthed a large spider so I got conned into dragging the pool out of the shed for her – never mind that spiders are not my most favourite creature either.
The things mothers have to do!!
While she was setting it up on the front deck Sasha & David arrived.
They were doing a drop off on their way to spend the day swimming at Rai with Vanessa & Miles.
David set the water feature alight as he hadn’t seen it in action yet.
They were already running late so didn’t dally too long.
Gay has her daughter Amber visiting for a few days so they walked over to visit.
We had a cuppa and enjoyed sitting outside in my swing seat.
Azzan arrived back very hot but happy with his first day at work.
Then we decided to wander down to the Sprig and have a coffee.
Mahalia was pleased we were leaving because she could now sunbath in peace 🙂

Amber and I were trying to teach Gay the benefits and virtues of having a smart phone.
Not sure if she is really convinced as yet 😉
Sally text me to say she was in the vicinity so I told her to come join the party.
It was great to introduce my friends to each other, especially now Sally is back to stay.
I’m ecstatic about that fact!!
Another round of drinks ladies.
We had a fairly riotous time.
A lovely way to spend the afternoon.
Finally it was time for Gay & Amber to go in search of the best hot chips in town so Sally and I wandered home.
Stopped in to pick up some veggies from Nin on the way.
Sally checked out all our additions and improvements.
She was here a year ago when we had only just moved in so was very impressed with what we have achieved.
We chatted for a while and then she headed off to feed her families animals cuz they’re away.
I’m so happy Sally is home to stay now.
There is nothing better than an ‘old’ friend – and we are very special old friends.
Looking forward to lots of hanging out together xxx

Shanni had done a split shift today.
Came home and rested for a couple of hours this afternoon.
Then back again tonight to quickly shower and gather up final things.
She left just after 7pm.
I did all the concerned mother things, got her to check oil & water, talked through the route and where the fuel stops are etc.
Talked about staying safe on the road, taking breaks, pulling over to let traffic past etc etc etc.
All the things mothers think of to ensure their precious children come back home in one piece!!
Finally she manoeuvred passed my car and was gone – on her first long drive.
She had decided wisely to drive the first hour tonight and stay with Marah so she can leave fresh in the morning and tackle the next 4 hours of road that she has not driven before.
Whew! It’s hard releasing the safety reins 😉

I made pasta for dinner.
The two kids were being really fractious and I finally had enough and let them both have it with both barrels.
They went out to finally finish spreading the bags of stones that I had been waiting to have done for weeks.
Not long after they called me outside.
The were laughing.
The errant rake had been found!
I just knew that as soon as I bought a new one it would turn up.
It was hanging on the back fence.
The rake head was lying across the top of the fence and the handle blending in with the posts.
So obvious and yet so hidden and we had all walked passed it whilst searching!!
Well, that was a good find and it broke the friction barrier 🙂
I got the pasta done, made a salad and we enjoyed a tasty dinner together.

Tonight I spent some time trying to organise Mahalia a trip back home for a few days.
It was all a bit much trying to get my head around the logistics of juggling her job, my job, getting Azzan to airport, impending visitors,  and her over the hill to meet her ride etc etc, but finally after many phone calls we think we have it sussed.
She hasn’t been home in a year so is really looking forward to it.
After last nights broken sleep we were all ready for an early night tonight.

Saturday 26th December

Boxing Day Sales!
My shopaholic son had heard all about them and was up bright an early in the hopes we could go in.
I had a few things to do first though so by the time we cruised in it was mid morning and very hot already.
I dropped Azzan near The Warehouse and we drove on up to wish Margaret a happy birthday for yesterday.
Azzan was soon calling me to say there was nothing much in the sale there so he walked on into town.
We then discovered that it was Saturday and the market was on too.
It is a crazy time of year, lose track of days so easily.
I knew it was Boxing Day but hadn’t flicked out that it was also Saturday – duh!
I was thinking, oh bother! parking will be even more difficult cuz town will be manic.
Anyway, Azzan was waiting at Cafe Affair for us.
We tried to find a park in the carpark but to no avail so went round several blocks and then decided to do a drive past and pick him up.
But as he hopped into our car another car pulled out in front of us so I quickly ducked in and we got a park right outside Cafe Affair!
Yaaaaahh!! In the shade too.
Plus we then discovered it was free parking all day.
Mega bonuses all round 🙂
We decided to stop in and have a drink.
A nice cold lemon lime & bitters was Azzan’s choice and Mahalia opted for the spirolina smoothie.
I had an iced mocha frappe but forgot to say no cream on top – Mahalia made short work of that!!
The it was off to do battle with the crowds.
It sure was a crowded busy market today.
Hot and loads of tourists.
Mahalia headed off to do some other shopping.
Azzan led me to the blueberry stall and we got a couple of kilos.
Then cruised around.
There were heaps of new stalls.
It was fun checking them all out.
Azzan got tired of that so went back to sit in the car.
Mahalia eventually joined him.
They were being rather fractious with each other so I was glad to have some time on my own.
Found Sapphie the most gorgeous wee outfit for her birthday.
A skirt and top with The Very Hungry Caterpillar fabric.
Then I popped into Whitcoulls and found an Eric Carle nature book with a magnifying glass to go with it.
We arrived back home at lunch time.
Azzan then wanted to go for a walk to the Centre of NZ with a couple of his friends so he took Caspian too.
I retreated to the lounge with an iced cider.
It was a perfect way to spend a hot afternoon.
Yuri came and collected Azzan & Georgia and Azzan’s bike and they headed off to meet friends at the beach.
Seb & Phoebe arrived later in the arvo, on their way home from spending Christmas with her family.
Shanni immediately took Sapphie into her bedroom to meet the kitten.
Sapphie was in love 🙂
My fav photo of the meeting – she is so gentle.
I hope they will be good mates.

Then because it is Sapphie’s 2nd birthday on Monday and I can’t be there I gave her my presents.
She was so funny.
Such an expressive wee face.
Big wow! eyes.
Lots of appreciative chatter as she carefully opened the parcels.
They were hot and tired, and it was getting late so they loaded back into the car complete with kitten in a box and left for the final leg of their journey back home.
It really doesn’t seem that many years ago that we were doing the same thing.
A blink of an eye and the next generation is following closely in our footsteps!

Seb had transported a large mirror for me from Java in Christchurch.
I’d seen it whilst down there but had to come home and check out whether it would fit and suit the wall I want to hang it on.
Mahalia and I unpacked it.
Love it!
But it is too heavy for us to hang so we stashed it safely until I can locate a helpful male who knows how to do the job.
I decided to tackle some DIY jobs.
Got the drill, tape measure and stud finder.
Discovered that it does work – sort of.
Successfully hung my picture near my bed.
Then tackled Azzan’s poster.
I’d bought it months ago and finally got it framed a few weeks ago.
Now it is hanging on the wall.
I was feeling very proud of myself.
Mahalia went out for a bike ride.
Then returned and took Caspian for a walk.
Shanni worked two shifts today so after the second one she was ready for bed.
Leita called up to see if Azzan could stay for dinner.
He was pretty upset because someone had taken his new tennis racket.
It was a bit of a mystery as they never saw anyone around.
It is named so we are praying that whoever took it or wherever it is the person will call us.
It was cool out the front under the large tree so I decided to get some of the hydrangeas planted.
I have been trying for weeks and months to get them in.
But this arvo I needed to vent some negative energy so put it to good use.
The ground was a mix of  old weed mat and roots interspersed, heaps of bark, and hard packed clay deep down under the weed mat.
I raked a heap of bark away from the border where I was planting and had to cut a few large roots and wrench out some old weed mat while digging.
Finally managed to plant about eight of them.
They were certainly ready to escape their captivity as the roots were very thick and bound up.
Hopefully with releasing the roots and watering them well they will flourish.
They will form a beautiful border outside my bedroom window.
I was rather muddy and hot and sweaty by the time I finished.
Decided to leave the last 6 or 7 for another day.
Made myself some dinner and watched a movie while I ate it.
Azzan was dropped back home around 9:30pm.
We were all in bed soon after.
At 1am I became aware of noise outside but was trying to sleep through it.
But it woke and frightened Azzan.
I went outside to investigate.
About three young guys, very drunk, and very loud, walking, staggering along the street and down the next street. Came back to bed and then realised they had returned.
So I went out and called the police.
The were walking south so I hope a patrol car managed to locate them before they woke too many people.
Then I remembered my car was still out on the street so I brought that inside.
An amazing full moon tonight.
More loud people walking past.
I tried to get back to sleep, but tossed and turned for ages so sat up in bed and updated my blog.
Now it is 4:16am and I am going to attempt to sleep again.
Probably be a cut cat in the morning now :-/

Friday 25th December

Azzan was up at 7:30am!
Anticipation and excitement.
His very first Christmas!!

I managed to get him to go back to bed for a while longer.
We finally got up and filled croissants for breakfast.
Azzan made ham & cheese
Mahalia & I filled ours with camembert, tomato, capsicum & avocado.IMG_2514
Shanni can’t eat croissants so Mahalia made her a special gluten free breakfast with rice.
Mahalia found a puppy Santa coat at The Warehouse the other night.
Poor Caspian looked so embarrassed!
Finally we made out way into the lounge and spent the next hour or so unwrapping presents.
Had to slow Azzan down and share them around!
Shanni got what she really wanted and needed so she was happy 🙂
A toilet bag set.
She was pleased I didn’t choose the bright pink option 😉

And there were crackers!
And cards to read out.
Mahalia had wrapped all the presents so she knew what was in them all.
Except the extra one I put there for her!!
She had put her name on the wafers little monkey!!
Seb & Phoebe had asked a couple of days ago if we could pick up and babysit a present for Sapphire until they came through a few days later.
I delegated that job to Shoshannah.
She fell in love with this wee critter & kept it safe in her room.
She named it Stanley.
Found out later its a girl 🙂
It drove Caspian demented that he wasn’t allowed to play with the kitten.
Poor wee mite hid in the bookcase when Shanni left it for a few minutes.
She came back with her selfie stick and we had fun taking family photos.
There were so many silly ones – here’s a few with my crazy kids 🙂
My favourite two.
While Mahalia was shopping at Spotlight the other day I found a small unit I thought would work well in the art room.
Mahalia helped put it together for me.
The instructions said all we needed was a Phillips screwdriver and some peace and quiet.
That is not what Mahalia needed!!
It took a while and she was pretty frustrated with it.
But she persevered and got it from this
to this – thanks Halia, all my washi tapes fit on the rail beautifully.
When we opened the presents Azzan had left as box of chocolates on the floor of the lounge.
Mahalia discovered a certain small puppy had found the box, opened it and devoured nearly 100grams of chocolate 😦
I knew it wasn’t good for dogs so I Googled what to do.
Apparently it contains theobromine which is toxic to dogs.
I phoned our vet who happened to conveniently be open for 2 hours right then.
Decided that it was better to be safe than sorry so I loaded the naughty little puppy in the car.
On arrival he was happy and bouncy.
But then the reality struck!
They administered the Apomorphine into his eye and within less than 5 minutes he was chucking up everything.
That is amazing stuff.
As soon as they could see he had vomited everything up the vet flushed his eye out with saline and he stopped.
Incredibly efficient!
Caspian was not a happy chappy afterwards though.
$118 later!! I carried him to the car and took him home to recover.
Unfortunately there was not an immediate timeframe between eating the chocolate and the treatment for him to learn for a mother time :-/
That was an interesting and costly way to spend an hour of our Christmas morning.
I had already put the chicken in the slow cooker to roast so I put in a couple of trays of roast veges to cook.
Parsnip, pumpkin, yams & kumara.
I boiled a pot of new potatoes with fresh mint from our garden and a pot of carrots, peas, beans & corn.
Made up two pots of gravy – one for the vegetarian!
Then around 4pm we sat out in the sun and enjoyed our Christmas dinner.
The meal was delicious.
The sun was still intensely hot so we didn’t dally out there long.
Caspian bounced back within a few hours.
The vet had told me to withhold food till late in the arvo and then give him 2 small feeds.
But he found the kittens food early in the arvo and devoured that with no reaction so I figure he was fine by then!

We had a few calls with Jesika throughout the day.
Several months ago there was a consideration that Azzan might go over to visit her this summer.
But it was discounted at the time due to a few different constraints.
But the seed was planted again this morning and I checked out flights and discovered some reasonably priced deals if you were not fussy on when you fly.
So with some discussion and a few more calls between Jesika & Azzan to sort out the feasibility of it all I did some investigation and then made the booking.
The upshot is that he is going to fly over on New Years Eve and spend 2.5 weeks with Jesika & Evan.
He is very excited cuz he & Jesika are planning some photography sessions.
So, he has a week to get sorted and packed and earn some pocket money to take with him.

The rest of the afternoon was spent lazing, dozing, watching several epidsodes of ‘Good Luck Charlie’.
We had been invited out in the later arvo but were too tired to move.
Shanni was in bed by 7:30pm.
We cream filled brandy snaps for dessert 🙂
Mahalia & Azzan went out for an evening bike ride.
I ended my evening with a phone call from Renata.
Lovely restful day – apart from the vet trip!!

Thursday 24th December



Shanni went off to work this morning.
Mahalia brought me breakfast in bed.
An omelet made from egg whites cuz she likes and wanted the yolks!!
Stuffed full with diced capsicum, tomato and feta – yum!IMG_2492

We felt like going out.
So after Pat had come to check out a few fix it jobs we hoped in the car and headed to Stoke.
Another very hot day.
First stop was Bunnings to replace my rake.
For a section this small I cannot understand where my rake has disappeared to.
Incredibly frustrating.
I found one plus a few other tools that will make the DIY side of things around here a tad easier.
Then it was 11:45am so we decided to pop into see Anat & Rami at Crusoes as we hadn’t been there in absolutley ages.
They have done so much, it is looking so cool.
We sat outside under their shade area.
It was lovely.
Ended up ordering lunch.
The kids were having fun and being ‘normal’.
Caspian didn’t think it was fair that he got nothing except water so was putting in quite an appeal.
Azzan gave him a couple of chips which made him happy.IMG_2498IMG_2499
We finished up by sharing a couple of the sin in a jar deserts.
Baileys mousse – delicious 🙂
Rolled out of there and went to visit Gilbert & Joan, only to find they had skipped town for a wee while to spend Christmas with their family.
So we headed homeward.
Detoured up the hill and found Leita & Yuri at home with their Dutch cousins visiting.
Joined them round the lunch table for a while.
It was really nice to chill out in the cool of the deck.
Yuri took the cousins down to the beach.
Azzan & Georgia hung out and looked after Caspian.
Leita was busy getting food ready to take to Rabbit Island for a Christmas Eve picnic.
We eventually dragged ourselves away.
Could’ve gone too but were feeling a tad weary.
Stopped in at Spotlight so Mahalia could get some fabric to patch her jeans.
Azzan walked Caspian home.
Then I left Mahalia to do her sewing and I took Azzan shopping at The Warehouse to look for some Converse shoes which we had heard were on special.
Deb’s friend Thomas is one of the managers there so helped Azzan to find them.
Unfortunately they had been on special for long enough for the supplies to be really low.
He managed to find a couple of pairs to fit him plus some school shoes for next year.
It was a good deal – 2 pairs for the price of 1.
Back home and discovered Mahalia was keen to check them out to so I whizzed back and let her rummage.
She was out of luck though.
But the Boxing Day specials tickets were already up so she got some heavily reduced sports wear.
Azzan was very excited that it was Christmas Eve.
Took him a long time to settle down tonight.

Wednesday 23rd December

I had promised Mahalia that I would take her to her last rowing session for the year.
So she woke me at 5am and I staggered out to the car in my dressing gown and slippers.
Not even sure if I found my comb before leaving!!
So I was seriously hoping and praying that I made the drive there and back without seeing anyone, being stopped by police that don’t sleep, or having a breakdown.
I did consider leaving all forms of ID at home just in case 😉
Anyway, all was good.
I dropped her off and made it back home safely.
I curled up on my bedroom chaise and worked on the computer for a while until the rest of the world began to wake up.
I received a message from Corrinne, and a call from Carlamia to let me know that my cousin Lyall had just died.
He had fought his battle over the past couple of months and passed peacefully this morning.
When you lose a cousin of the same vintage as yourself it re reminds you of the frailty of life and it leaves a hole in your heart.

I walked down to the Post Shop and sent away a heap of parcels.
Good to see the books going to new homes.
The kids had expressed interest in coming to the Festive Farmers Market but when the crunch came both deferred.
They were too tired so opted to stay home and rest.
The market had been moved to a different place due to the demands of the Morrison Square shop owners.
They are really busy this week and needed all the carparks.
So over to the empty NMIT carpark.
It is actually a far better place for it, so it is a shame it is only temporary.
I wandered around checking out all the stalls.
Had a chat with Colin who had sold all his strawberries in the first hour of setting up.
I could have almost come straight from rowing as some stall owners were setting up well before 7am.
I bought some apples and cherries and then sussed out the food stalls.
Decided to try a Nikau Bro’stie -a sourdough toasted sandwich with avocado, red onion and swiss cheese toasties.
It was very tasty 🙂
I had my arms full of apples and cherries so decided to head back to the car.
Popped up the street to see if Gay was home.
She had just come back from the market but hadn’t realised it had moved so thought she had missed it.
We chatted for a while and then I drove her back there.
We both stocked up on a few vegetables and I got the last cherry & chocolate pastry which was absolute delicious.
She walked home and I zipped upstairs to see Phillipa.
She was not at all well but working in spite of feeling yuck 😦
From there I went in to visit Renata at the shop and made a few purchases.
I was back home before 2pm.
About half an hour later Heike & Jens arrived.
They are the parents of Anna who wwoofed for us with her partner Jan about 6 years ago.
They came bearing some tasty items purchased from the Organic Grocers around the corner from here.
So I made drinks and we sat in the sun and enjoyed the delicious food.
Sue popped in for a chat and took Caspian away for a long walk which he was most happy about.
It got far too hot outside so we retreated into the lounge and talked the afternoon away.
I found Anna & Jan’s page in my wwoofers books to show them and verify the dates they were on the farm with us 🙂
Heike’s English was just a little better than my German, Jens did a lot of the talking but we managed to communicate just fine.
Around 5pm they left to go over to Marahau to chill out for a few days and then on to Golden Bay.
I went for a walk down the street to visit Tracey.
Met her Mum which was nice, and enjoyed a cider and mini nut pies.
Very festive 🙂
On the way home there were a group of bikers just leaving the Sprig all dressed up in Santa suits.
They certainly were a bright happy bunch.
Caspian was sunbathing on the wood stack when I returned.
He must’ve known it was me coming because he never moved a muscle.
Normally he barks at passers by and chases them along the length of the fence.
Gives him good exercise 😉
Shoshannah had made a mince dish for dinner with rice.
It was really really good.

Tuesday 22nd December




Mahalia & Sophie were really on the ball this morning.
They arrived at rowing half an hour early so had to wait for the others to arrive at 5:30am.
When they returned Mahalia got herself ready for work.
I was driving out to Richmond so I dropped her off at 10am and then took Sophie home.
Azzan wasn’t feeling great today so just wanted to stay in bed.
He seems to be coming down with a cold and is lacking in energy.
I left him here to rest for the morning.
I made the most of the time alone in the car to have a bluetooth chat with Leita.
Arrived at Beckys at 10:30am.
She had invited her friends to come help her celebrate her birthday.
It was a really lovely morning, lots of women arrived, some with their children in tow.
Everyone enjoyed the time to mingle and chat while we enjoyed coffees and nibbles.
It was lovely to meet up with Karen again and discover she has moved in next door to Becky.

Becky gave an emotional speech thanking all of us for our support through her tumultuous year.
And then there was cake – hummingbird cake 🙂
I needed to get back to Azzan so I hit the road before midday.
Got home to find he was up and showed and feeling better.
A friends mother picked him up at 1pm and took them over to join their friends at the beach for the afternoon.

Ursula and I wandered up to the Sprig for coffees and some very overdue time together.
It was really nice sitting out on the deck enjoying the afternoon.
I took Caspian and he entertained the other guests while we talked.
Then Mahalia came striding past so stopped to say hi and took him home with her.
We stopped in at Nin’s and picked up some veggies from her on the way home.

Shanni had made a cake so packed it up and went out to celebrate Luke’s birthday with him and David & Sasha.
Happy 20th Birthday Luke xxx

Azzan got a ride back from the beach.
Both he and I were feeling in need of some meat – specifically wiener schnitzel.
So I left him to do some potato for dinner and Mahalia & I went up to see the Winnington’s for a quick visit.
I had some things to drop off there.
Caspian thought it was pretty good cuz Margaret made a real fuss of him and fed him meat and gravy from their dinner.

We then stopped in at the supermarket so I could pick up the meat.
Mahalia had a headache, I think from over tiredness.
I gave her some Panadine and she waited in the car while I nipped in and got the groceries.
Went straight home and got the meat cooking.
Azzan had made some delicious hot potato chips, and I made a salad.
Tracey had called in while we were out and dropped off some tiny nut pies.
They were delicious, we kept them for dessert.
Just before dinner something happened, not too sure what and she couldn’t tell me, but the floodgates opened.
Tears flowed sobbingly.
We spent time on the couch cuddled up having some precious mum/daughter time.
I understand totally.
So many triggers at the moment.
People around you don’t know, don’t understand, and are not walking in our shoes.
In conversation things are said that trigger thoughts and emotions.
It is really hard when everyone is ‘celebrating family time’ and the pain you keep deep down inside wells up and and it all just becomes overwhelmingly sad.
We are missing the integral part of our family.
He is not here and he should be.
It all seems incredibly unfair.
But this is our life now.
We still have each other but we don’t feel complete anymore.

I was reading Tessa’s blog post this morning, she is talking about losing a loved one and how dates and days take on a new meaning, and a couple of the lines jumped out at me.
“She told me she would like to travel, but even the thought of it made her feel guilty. It’s something she couldn’t do when Ethan was alive, so enjoying it would feel like a betrayal of sorts. He can’t do those things now, so it feels wrong to be able to enjoy them without him.

I get it. I understand exactly where her head is at. When I think of the good things I have in my life right now, the good and the guilt twist around each other in my chest. At times one is bigger than the other. I wish so much that Eva was still with me, but I am simultaneously enjoying the good things in my life. Those two feelings seem contradictory but they exist all at once. I fight against that guilt and grief and have worked really hard to turn it into a motivating force, rather than something that restricts me.”

I really get that conflict.
The good and the guilt.
Man! I so get that.
I get asked so often, ‘Why did I move to town?’ ‘How do I like living in town?’ ‘Am I enjoying city life?’
The answers are so difficult to give, the contradiction within knots your gut as you try and weigh up your response depending on who is asking.
Of course we like living in town, but we lived for so long on the farm that our hearts are still buried deep there with Tim’s.
We made a change.
It wasn’t an easy choice.
Staying on the farm was too difficult physically & emotionally so we made a choice.
Living in the city has its pros and cons.
The kids are getting involved with their friends, sports and schools and are doing exceptionally well.
I am meeting lots of new friends and getting involved with new passions.
We have happy times and can be happy.
But we have history, memories, that take us back to the good times.
The times when our family circle wasn’t broken.
Living here is also sometimes lonely.
The farm was isolated but town can be isolating.
I know if Tim were still here, we would not be here.
We would be in a different place.
But he’s not and we are making the best of what can.
And most days thats all good 🙂
And on others it totally sucks 😦