Friday 27th May

I cannot believe that May is almost over.
That this is the last Friday of this month.
I was up before 6am so had plenty of time to get breakfast and lunches happening.
I baked some muffins from the mix I made up last night.
The beauty of this recipe is that you just bake the amount needed so you don’t have any leftovers going stale.
Not that these would hang around that long anyway, they are just way too good!
Here is the original recipe from my book with alterations and stains of lots of use over the years.
As we are only a small family these days I mixed up a 1/3 of the recipe and that will be enough to last us for quite a few days.
I am sure that many folk around our area will have this recipe in their own collections.
Peggy played such an enormous part in all of our lives as a friend (she had known me since I was born so we had a bond before I even moved here) and our District Nurse for many many years.
She was very much a mother figure to this young girl who found herself living on a very isolated farm with little children.
She really was a life line to me through some pretty hard times.
Twelve years on since she suddenly left us and I still miss her.
I left the kids to get ready for school and took Caspian walking.
Ate one of my muffins as I walked.
After I got back Seb arrived for a business meeting.
Had a good discussion and then I had to zip off to my appointment.
I have been feeling really blah lately with a lot of stuff weighing heavily, and my hair has been making me feel even worse.
So after some deliberation with Hitomi as to what changes I could have bearing in mind that I can’t be bothered with fussing and styling, it has to be a wash and wear style for me,  away she went, snipping happily.
Then after a wonderful head massage I walked out feeling so much better.
She has that effect on me every time 🙂

I raced back home to meet up with Olivia.
Put a log on the fire, left Caspian with a bone to entertain him, and then we walked up to the Sprig for a coffee.
We shared a yummy savoury muffin.
They make them on site and are so fresh & delicious that I have to be really restrained when I come here!
We had a wonderful few hours talking over heaps of stuff.
I think I am going to be very happy working with this lady.
Seb finished his jobs and came to join us which was very beneficial to the proceedings.
He then headed off home and we carried on with our discussion.
At one point it moved from business to personal and I discovered we had more in common that I realised.
It is at times like this you understand why there was a connection to begin with.
You stumble upon common ground, an empathy though shared experiences.
I never planned on an exposure of grief and vulnerability but it tends to have a life of it’s own and appears when least expected and I left the Sprig with tears pouring down my face.
I had forgotten that I had another appointment in town at 2pm so had scheduled Pat to come to do some small jobs for me.
Had to postpone that at the last minute which I felt really bad about.
It was after 1:30pm by now so I quickly raced inside and got myself organised.
Then zipped into town for the meeting.
Was back home by 3pm.
Did a few things but was feeling too restless to settle.
Left a note for the kids who were both busy with after school activities and went up to the hospital to visit Jane.
She was surrounded with visitors but they soon all left so we had a lovely time chatting and I got to have lots of cuddle time with the cutest wee poppet.
Ended up staying with her till closing time at 8pm.
It was raining when I walked out the main doors.
Call into New World and picked up a few items.
Was very glad that Mahalia had left the gate open for me as the rain was getting rather heavy.
They had all eat dinner so I made a salad and heated up some quiche for myself.
Realised I had hardly eaten all day so was quite ravenous.
Azzan did the dishes and got some more firewood in.
I have managed to keep the fire going all day so the house was lovely and warm.


Thursday 26th May

I was up at 6am, woke Mahalia at 6:30 as per her request last night.
Then Azzan at 7am.
I got their breakfast and lunches underway.
The sky was absolutely gorgeous at daybreak.

I had a busy day ahead so I decided to go take Caspian for an early walk.
We left just before 8am.
I caught sight of a rainbow above The Grampians.
Then around another corner and I could see the other end of it rising from the port.
It wasn’t till later that I realised there was a double rainbow above the hills.
I was so busy admiring them as I was walking rather briskly with an energetic puppy full of morning bounce, that I didn’t take much notice of the threatening blackness behind them.
It wasn’t until I realised I had left my pager behind (I was supposed to be on at 8am) so I text Jenni to ask her to stay turned on for an extra 15 minutes and she said that it was pouring down in Richmond that I thought maybe I might need to cut my walk short.
Then I felt spits on my face and very quickly they turned into drops which became heavier and heavier.
My walk turned into a run!
I was rather wet by the time I arrived back home.
I peeled off my downie and put it straight into the dryer.
The kids had gone already and Raphael was just leaving.
I put some more wood on the fire and cleaned up the kitchen.

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At 8:30am the tree guys arrived to prune my jacaranda.
They decided to go for it even though the rain was getting rather heavy.
This is what it looked like before they started.
The were soon clambering around in the branch like a couple of monkeys.
Ropes everywhere.
I watched in horror as the branches fell on my garden and I could see their large boots standing amongst my precious shrubs.
But afterwards they cleared it all away and swept up and it was cleaner than before with no damage whatsoever.
Such a relief.
The tree is no looking much better for it’s haircut.
While they were working I had my breakfast and chatted on the phone with Gay & Sandra.
After they had finished the rain stopped and the sun slowly began to appear.
I got in a load of wood and did a few things around the place.
At midday I thought I might just pop up to the hospital before morning visiting hours were over.
I arrived to find Joy, Tony & Phil visiting Jane, John & the cutest wee button of a baby.
Their wee boy had arrived safely yesterday.
So cool.
Jane needed some time alone with the baby so they were about to head off for lunch.
I hadn’t any reason to go home apart from doing the accounts so took the opportunity to spend some time with Joy.
They headed to The Anchor Bar & Grill.
Hadn’t been their before but had heard good things so always happy to trial a new place.
I had a the citrus cured salmon salad – using vodka, dill salt and lemon, served with, leafy greens and herb salad, with glazed beetroot, lemon and dill crème fraiche.
It was nice but I certainly wouldn’t write home about it.
Sam came and went, then Sarah arrived.
And finally John came briefly before heading back to be with Jane.
Tony & Phil drove back to the farm after lunch and Joy stayed with us.
We chatted with Sarah and then had a coffee before leaving.
I brought Joy home here for half an hour.
Then we went back to the hospital, Mahalia came over after school to see Emma so called in to see the baby and Jane.
We didn’t stay too long cuz Joy wanted to go see her granddaughters at their swimming lessons.
I dropped her off at the pool and then took Halia to see Gay for some bioptron treatment before taking her home.
Then back to collect Joy.
It was right on 5pm and the traffic was absolutely jammed all the way up Rutherford Street into Waimea Road so I did a u-turn, shot through the fuel station and tried to get to the hospital up the back roads.
It was quicker but still mental.
I just cannot fathom why the powers that be cannot make some decisions and get the traffic issues sorted.
They have been dithering over the main arterial routes for so long now it is ridiculous!
I left Joy there and came straight back home.
I was now going against the traffic so it was relatively quick.
Azzan was back and getting ready to go to youth group.
Mahalia was asleep on her bed.
I quickly through a site fry of rice and veggies together then split it into two pans so the vegetarians had tofu and we had chicken.
Everyone was happy then 🙂
Azzan went off on his bike keeping his mother happy by wearing his hi-viz gear.
Mahalia had homework – I tried to help her with it but it didn’t really work tonight so I carried on with my own stuff.
While waiting for Azzan to get back I did the dishes and made some muffins.
I have a treasured recipe of Peggy’s which you mix up and leave in the fridge, just baking a few each day as you need them.
I didn’t have any bran so substituted rice flakes – it will be interesting to see how they turn out tomorrow.
On that note it is now way past lights out so that’s all for today!



Wednesday 25th May

Sleeping in till 6:55am.
Unheard of lately.
I woke the kids and ripped through the shower.
Crazy thing was that in spite of the lengthy hours of sleep last night I woke in a very fragile state.
Then FB kicked me with a memory post showing Tim’s smiling face.
It was pouring with rain so I offered to take the kids to school.
Scooted them all out to the car just before 8:30am.
Dropped them off and then had a couple of jobs to do before going back home.
Got to Spotlight and had quarter of an hour to wait till they opened so sat and relaxed.
Then the phone rang, the new bank guy was calling to ask some more questions.
I have been dealing with the same advisor ever since we moved to this bank and because he is away sick I have been dealing with another guy who doesn’t know us or our situation.
Having to bring him up to speed has been exhausting at such a stressful time.
He is completely different to deal with and I am not coping with him.
This mornings call just tipped me over the emotional edge :-/
The store was open by now so I zipped in and took the spare sheets back.
Then on to Kathmandu to drop off my sleeping bag.
Now that it was washed and clean they accepted it and will get the zipper repaired.
While I was out I had had a brainwave as to what to do for dinner so came home and immediately got straight on to making a quiche.
I had taken a container of pumpkin soup out of the freezer and used half of it as a replacement for the milk portion of the  quiche.
It worked perfectly.
I then moved both my car and Seb’s truck out of my yard and parked them on the street to make room for the dog groomer’s van.
It was 10am when I finally managed to have my breakfast.
Had barely finished when Seb walked in the door.
I had a few business things to go through with him so we got straight on to those.
Then just as Gay arrived to give Caspian his pre winter groom, Phoebe, Sapphie and Shoshannah arrived too.
Then Sally messaged to say she was in town.
I had planned to meet her for coffee but I couldn’t see myself free in time so I suggested she come here.
The family then went off to do their chores and shopping, and just as Sally arrived the groomer finished the job.
I coulda gone out after all!
Sally had bought scones so I made tea and we sat and took 10 to reclaim our equilibrium.
Then while she was having a look around the garden to see what I’d been doing Glinda arrived.
Sally left and Glinda checked out the places where rodents could potentially be getting in.
Let me with poison to put out and then carried on with her day.
Seb arrived back.
I was feeling rather shell shocked by this point.
I was in ‘not coping with life’ tears so retreated to the sunroom to try and get some gst work done.
I had been intending to spend all morning on it but that idea had very quickly gone out the window.
I decided to not go the complicated perfectionist way that I had been trying to do over the past few weeks and just sat and clicked the coding buttons.
Figured out how I could come back later and add in the invoices etc.
Felt a bit more relieved once I had that much done.
Mahalia arrived back around 5pm.
I left her with dinner instructions.
Popped out and met Azzan in town, picked up a few items at the supermarket and dropped him back home.
Phoebe & Sapphire were here so I zipped in for last minute hugs and cuddles before they carried on with their homewards trek.
I then went and met up with ‘the girls’ at Cafe Affair at 5:30pm.
We had arranged an after work get together time.
It is so good to meet up socially occasionally and forget work.
We got Claire to take some photos of us before we left – sans Trish who had already left for another meeting.
My team mates – they’re a great bunch.
Love them all to bits!
IMG_6992It was a very enjoyable couple of hours.
I headed back home to the kids afterwards.
They were mucking about so I left them to do their homework and get themselves off to bed.
Was in bed quite early but didn’t sleep till late.
I received a very special surprise via email this evening which was incredibly touching.
Brought more tears, this time tears from being loved and appreciated.
Thanks so much Jesika & Evan – I will really enjoy your lovely gift.

Tuesday 24th May

Another early start to my day.
This time I was up and through the shower and took Caspian for a walk early.
Got back after kids had gone.
Then I zipped into town to do a couple of jobs.
Of course I was far too early and the shops I wanted open at 9am.
I strolled around Morrison Square window shopping until Just Jeans opened so I could exchange Mahalia’s jeans.
She had gone looking for some warmer jeans on Sunday and chosen some fashion statements that were full or rips and tears and holes.
I refused to pay the amount being asked for them as they didn’t fit the bill for warm winter attire.
She went back and looked again and found some more appropriate jeans at a far better price.
I didn’t have time to do any more at that point so went straight to my 9:30am massage appointment.
I have been trying for months to fit one in, but it has just been in the too hard basket to organise one into my schedule.
Then when I finally did the therapist got sick at the last minute so it was cancelled and I couldn’t fit his and my schedule together in the immediate future.
So I booked with my second choice, but as it turned out she was a good choice.
I had a really relaxing session.
She is working to free up my back and shoulders and will work with the treatment that is scheduled – the ultrasound guided injection into the bursa and hopefully also to try and break up the calcifications.
Afterwards I headed to Spotlight to suss out some flannelette sheets for Mahalia.
I found some really cute kids ones and after some texting back and forth decided on the foxes.
Then I went to meet up with Leita for lunch at 1pm.
We went to Paasha and shared a large vegetarian plate.
It was delicious and just the perfect amount.
Afterwards I went to Kathmandu to get some thermals for the kids.
Back home to get some work done.
I put some finishing touches to the baby card I had made over the weekend for a friends baby due this week.
Love the new Tim Holtz teddy stamp that I found in Australia.

I was expecting someone to come see me to quote on a gardening job I need doing.
My shoulder is making it hard for me to do things.
When I answered the doorbell she looked and me and I looked at her!
So funny.
She had been referred to me via a friend of a friend.
I had checked out her website but hadn’t joined any dots and neither had she.
When she arrived and saw my boardwalk she recognised it from her sister’s partners photos so she started joining the dots before I answered the door.
It was Sabina – Marion’s sister.
Marion & Florian who lived here in their van back in the summer and then deserted me by returning to Germany  – causing me much sadness 😦
Sabina lives here and has a gardening business called Garden Affairs Nelson.
Such a crazy small world.
So she is going to come help get my garden tidied and bedded for the winter.
Such a relief to be getting it done.
Azzan went from school to suss out Soundstage with one of his friends.
He loved it.
He was just observing but ended up assisting the director tonight 😉
Mahalia had her cleaning job after school so I worked in the office until they arrived back.
I was in bed and asleep before 9pm.

Monday 23rd May

I’m not sure why I am waking so early.
Maybe it is the full moon shining in the window above me?
Maybe my body clock just thinks it has had enough sleep?
Who knows :-/
Anyway, it gives me several hours to catch up with the world and my blog before the rest of the household wakes.
Today it was a cold, wet morning.
I turned on the heat pumps around 5am and then woke the kids at 7am.
I retreated back to bed and stayed safe and snug between my sheets until all three had departed for their educational institutions.
I was rather aware that my bed was not feeling as warm as it needed to be with the sudden decline in the temperatures this week.
So decided it was time for a change.
I stripped my bed of summer sheets and turned the mattress 180’ as I figured after sleeping on it for the past 18months I needed to make an indent on the opposite side/end.
Caspian was close on my heels for the whole performance wondering what on earth this ‘morning crazed person clad only in her oversized dressing gown and purple jester slippers with great holes in the toes’, who was hoping no early morning visitors would appear at the door, was actually doing?
I finally had my bed made.
There is absolutely nothing better than a freshly made bed.
Every sheet, blanket, duvet and pillow all perfectly lined up.
Especially when it gets done in the morning and so has the whole day to be appreciated.
Unlike those days when the bed gets stripped, sheets chucked into he wash and you’re busy, busy all day, then nightfall comes and it’s 11pm and you’re so incredibly tired you just want to collapse into your pillows and tragedy strikes – ‘Oh bother said Pooh!’ you’ve just remembered that you haven’t made your bed, so you quickly chuck it all together and never have a moment to appreciate the beauty of the aforesaid perfection.
Total sadness 😦
But today I can glory in this wonderfulness 🙂
Tim always loved to tease me when helping to make our bed.
It was a super king so I really did appreciate his help when I could nab him.
But I have to have the sheets absolutely straight with no creases or rumples.
They have to be tucked in just right.
I learnt bed making when working at Princess Margaret Hospital back in my single days which really added to my very OCD nature.
With a big cheeky smile he would pull the sheets this way and that way commenting that ‘it needs to come this way 1/2 an inch, now this up way a 1/4 of an inch!’
If I was late getting the sheets back on after washing and he was tired he would just throw them on higgledy piggledy and climb in and go straight to sleep.
I have been known to turf him out and make it ‘properly’  😉
Once the above was completed I then found clothes and made myself respectable.
Got the washing done and hung outside once the sunshine began appearing.
Put out the wheelie bin, turfed out the remains of the burnt porridge – oh dear Mahalia!
Once all the morning chores were done the sunroom was warming up so I retreated there to start war on the paperwork.
I have to get the GST done before the 28th but first I got buried in sorting out the wages records for the past two months.
Realised I had stuffed up, so spent time trying to sort out that tangled web.
This really is not my chosen career.
It is not that I am not capable.
I know I am.
But I get so incredibly frustrated trying to get my head around some of the newer developments of the accounting software etc.
I sometimes wish I hadn’t given up doing this 5 years ago because then my knowledge would’ve grown naturally in that time.
Instead I am having to figure it out on the run, fill in the gaps and try to catch up.
But then I take my mind back 5 years and remember why I gave up.
And so I take a big breath, wipe away the tears of frustration, pull up my big girl bloomers and put on my pointy shoes and kick ass!
All of a sudden I realised it was heading towards 2pm and I hadn’t yet had lunch so I raided the fridge for some nourishment.
After eating and some more office work I ran around getting in the washing & firewood.
Lit the fire, left a note for Mahalia, and got myself ready to go out for the evening.
Azzan got home just before 4pm and while he got ready I through some food together for him.
Then we were out the door and heading to Richmond.
I wanted to avoid the late afternoon traffic but made the mistake of forgetting the roadworks along Waimea road so were crawling from the hospital to Bishopdale.
Finally made it to Richmond and met up with Debbie at Kmart.
She had just arrived from Blenheim and had stopped off to have a catch up with me as it is such a very very long time since we had one of those.
Azzan was on a mission to find some pyjamas.
I had intended for him to go search on his own while we had coffee in peace.
But he insisted that we come too.
It was like trying to keep up with a firefly as he flitted all around the shop finding everything except pjs!
He didn’t like any of the nightwear so instead chose some trackpants and a tee-shirt that he felt matched, conned me into buying a plaid shirt & a warm beanie.
Then Debbie succumbed to his boyish charms and bought him a hooded muscle top.
He did very well tonight – little darling 🙂
Here he is teaching Debbie how to do a High 5 thumb hug.
After raising 3 of her own who are now hunky young men she’s a total sucker for delightful teen boys 😉
We walked over to the food court and left Azzan feasting on McChucks Maccas while we went in search of a more healthy option.
It was 5pm and most places were closing but the lovely lady at Ginger Cafe was happy to serve us so we had a few precious minutes to talk growed-up stuff before Azzan came to entertain us again.
Finally Debbie needed to head off on the last leg of her journey so after some more hugs and promises to meet up in 3 weeks instead of 3 years she carrie on over to Tapawera and we headed to the Aquatic Centre.
I had bought a voucher last year for a learn to dive session with Abyss Dive and due to many circumstances we hadn’t managed to use it till now.
Paul said they would be about an hour so I whizzed around the corner and visit with Sally.
It is nice to see her back in her own home after so many years overseas.
The time flew by and I had to chase my tail to get back by 7:30-pm.
They were still in the water so it was all good.
My young fish was  right in his element.
I chatted with Paul while he changed and sussed out his options if he decides to continue with this sport/hobby.
Azzan had ended up swimming in his clothes so he changed into his new ‘pjs’.
It was pouring down so I raced to the car and did a drove onto the pavement to pick up Azzan which highly amused him.
On the way home we decided that as the evening was still young we really needed a Mum/son evening treat before the night ended.
We stopped off at Cafe Affair.
We tried out some new drinks which were really really good.
I hadn’t yet had dinner so ordered a falafel salad.
Azzan munched through a bowl of fries.
He commented that he felt like a hobo going out in his pyjamas.
But as they actually haven’t yet been christened into that position of his wardrobe I thought he looked pretty darn good!IMG_6976
It was nice that the cafe was at the quieter end of the night cuz we got to have a lovely chat with Vic.
We’re gonna miss her when she leaves, although after all these years of succssfully running the place I think she has earned a well deserved rest.
The rain had just arrived and was quite heavy so I had to do another run to the car.
Mahalia & Raphael were just finishing dinner when we arrived home.
We unloaded and Azzan got on to his homework.
I had a catch up with Mahalia and left her to finish her homework.
I put the beautiful flowers that Debbie had given me in a vase and decided to grace my room with them.
Perfectly lovely.
Thank you Debbie xxxxx
I had the whole day to enjoy this and now I get to hop in and enjoy the warm sheets and cosy blankets.
The only thing missing is Timmy.
That really would make the whole scene perfect.
Night xx

Sunday 22nd May

I was awake around 4am so at 5am I jumped into the shower and found some warm clothes to pile on as it was rather a chilly  morning.
Seb called at 5:45am to let me know he was heading to the port to unload.
I woke Mahalia and when he arrived around 6:30am we were both ready and waiting.
He had caught a pig on the way out and want to hang it in my tree.
There was some discussion as to which tree.
He thought the fig tree was ok, but as it is in direct line of sight of all passers by I didn’t agree.
I didn’t want to shock the early morning townies too greatly.
He conceded to hang it at the back of the garage from the other tree where it was out of sight.
The moon was huge with clear open cloudless skies which is why it was so cold.
Mahalia and Caspian had commandeered the front seat so the guys folded into the back.
I quickly realised why – she had the front seat heating on 😉
I dropped the guys off at the port just before 7am, they quickly boarded ‘Tardis’ and got things underway.
The port was really sparkly and the moon merge in with all the lights.
They had a lot of safety checks etc to do so I didn’t dally.
Mahalia had been intending on walking back home with Caspian from here but we decided to drive around to the beach to see the moon and get a view of the boat leaving port.
It was so beautiful.
I was really wishing I had my camera, which Azzan has appropriated, cuz my phone didn’t really do it justice.
I stopped half way long Rocks Road to get these two.IMG_6868IMG_6876
So to the west the moon was quickly sinking into the clouds near the horizon and to the east the sun was beginning to make its appearance.IMG_6881Selfie time 🙂IMG_6892
Mahalia opted to walk back from here.
It was now 7:15am.
Caspian had to do some stretches before he was ready to begin the journey.IMG_6902
I drove up the hill and eventually found the best lookout at Queens Road.
It was a fantastic vantage.
I could see Mahalia walking along passed The Boatshed.
I could see ‘Tardis’ stemming out and watched her come along past the humungous container ship which was busy loading.
‘Tardis’ looked so small behind it, almost the same size as the containers being loaded!
It was a glorious morning.
I was glad I hadn’t waited at the port as it had taken the guys about 40 minutes to get their pre leaving checks all done.
So good to see her finally back in the water after the 2 months on the slip being repaired from the devastating fire.
I waited until she had gone through The Cut and was steaming into the sunshine before I made my way back down the hill.
My hands were frozen!
So glad I had my new possum/merino socks on which were keeping my feet cozy.

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I met up with Mahalia at the bottom.
She carried on walking.
I zipped into Countdown to pick up a few things.
When I came out she was there – I was beginning to think I was getting stalked!!
I wanted to pop over to New World so she came with me and got an apple to give her enough energy to walk the final distance home.
I got back and unloaded.
When Mahalia came in with Caspian I saw him go check out the pig.
He wasn’t to sure what to make of it.
Stood and studied it for a few minutes and then took off like a scolded dingo 🙂
Just far too scary!

Azzan headed off to 10am church with the promise he would come straight back home.
I sent Mahalia off at 11:30am to go try on jeans as I had discovered her winter wardrobe is rather depleted.
I got myself ready to go out and began preparing dinner.
David arrived around midday to pick up the pig so on his way out of the city he picked up Mahalia and dropped her off at the hospital so she could spend the arvo with Emma.
Then Jenni & Nigel arrived.
I wanted to pick Nigel’s brains about something so they had come in a tad early.
I decided to hop in their vehicle so I could walk home.
We were going to the ‘I Will March for Moko Nelson’ #MarchforMoko which was starting at 1pm.
We were early and cold so zipped into Cafe Affair to have a coffee and warm up.
Then we joined around 6oo others at the square to pay tribute to little Moko and the far too many other children killed and damage by child abuse in New Zealand.
It was an amazing turn out.
People from all walks of life, people who just want to show they care and want to stand up and stop the culture of abuse.
We listened to speakers – Rob Duffy from Te Rito,  Willow Duffy from the Safeguarding Children Initiative, First Union Nelson organiser Rachel Boyack.
9 year old Jessica Tuhua moved us all to tears with her tribute to 3 year old Moko and his 7 year old sister Anna who tried to save him.
This is just a small portion of her very wise and intelligent speech.
“What they (Moko”s caregivers) did was despicable. No-one deserves to be treated the way you were,”
“Moko, you are important. You didn’t get to be a school-kid, didn’t get opportunities, didn’t get to grow up. But that doesn’t mean you weren’t valuable as you were.”

I dont think anyone can watch his mother Nicola Dally-Paki, speak about him without being intensely moved.
So much credit has to go also to Duncan Garner who has been using his ‘Story’ platform to activate support and break the silence and bring this to national attention.

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We walked in a silent hikoi around the block and returned for the closing words and to then place our flowers on the Cathedral steps.
We all sang ‘Tutira Mai Nga iwi’ which was a very appropriate finish as we all stood for unity and strength in breaking this violence together as a community.

Tūtira mai ngā iwi,
tātou tātou e
Tūtira mai ngā iwi,
tātou tātou e
Whai-a te marama-tanga,
me te aroha – e ngā iwi!
Ki-a ko tapa tahi,
Ki-a ko-tahi rā
Tātou tātou e

Tā-tou tā-tou e E!!
Hi aue hei !!!

English Translation

Line up together people
All of us, all of us
Stand in rows people
All of us, all of us
Seek after knowledge
and love of others – everyone
Think as one
Act as one
All of us, all of us

All of us, All of us!!
Hi aue hei !!!

Afterwards I walked back home via some shops picking up some things for Mahalia.
I was so glad I had worn my new possum/merino top as I kept snuggly warm inspire of the cold atmosphere.
It is also very light so you don’t feel weighed down by it.

Azzan was busy shucking feijoas.
He had been doing home work and then went and did a yard clean up for me before going off on a bike ride.
Raphael had gone off walking.
I had a short recovery and then finished making dinner.
I made a quiche and a feijoa and apple pie and custard.
Mahalia arrived back after 5pm so I got her to light the fire.
Winter seems to have arrived with a vengeance.
There is snow on the mountains today and I was hearing of reports of heavy snow blocking roads etc down south.
Delicious dinner, enjoyed whilst watching ‘Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt’.
Azzan had a big clean out and after declaring he had no washing to do yesterday, produced a while load :-/
I got it through, put the urgent items in the dryer and then hung the rest on th rack in front of the fire.
Then off to bed.
Today was very long.
But is was satisfying.
I felt a lot was achieved.

Saturday 21st May

I was up early and decided to go for a walk.
Left here before eight.
It was cool and crisp so very glad of my downy and scarf.
It was a good walk to the city centre.
Not much traffic about but the market was beginning to buzz.
The stall holders were just finishing off their set ups.
My first stop was to visit with Belinda at Lav Kokonas.
Always good to chat and see what is happening with her Vanuatu enterprises.
Doing a great job Belinda 🙂
Then I mosied on up checking out a few stalls until I met up with Claire who is back at The Breadman stall after too many weeks off with her moonboot etc.
Lovely to see you percolating happily on two legs now Claire.
She caused my wallet much consternation after she directed me to a fabulous stall selling merino/possum garments.
I ended up there trying on several things and coming away with a gorgeously warm vest/tunic thing plus some cosy socks.
As it was incredibly chilly and my toes were freezing I am anticipating major warmth now I have these additions to my wardrobe  🙂
Gay walk in to meet me so we went for a bit of a cruise around and then back to the merino stall where I found some merino thermals on special so got one each for myself and Mahalia.
Then we retreated to Yaza Cafe to warm ourselves with some hot drinks.
We were soon involved in a deep and meaningful discussion which occupied a considerable length of time.
It gave my feet time to thaw before we meandered out of the market, got side tracked by a Nelson Residents Stall where I left Gay to discuss things political and I ducked across to chat with Natascha who was shopping nearby.
Then we walked over to The Kitchen so I could replenish my energy with some food as I had not yet eaten breakfast and it was after midday.
I was amused by these signs I found nearby.
We chatted some more and then cruised on up the street calling into several furniture shops.
Finally we decided we had solved all the worlds problems, and on parting company as we each took our own roads towards home I cornily quoted Robert Frost.
I called to have a chat with Anna which turned into stopping for a cuppa and then meeting Jan.
Arrived back home to a puppy who was home all alone.
Poor we abandoned critter.
Mahalia had gone out for lunch , Raphael had gone for the day, and Azzan was not yet back.
I opened up the house for a wee while as it had warmed up.
Got organised to do some artwork.
Then as it was cooling down again I went round closing up the house and setting the fire ready to light later.
I shot up the street around 3:30pm to pick up some things at Warehouse Stationery.
Mahalia arrived home while I was out.
I was waiting for her to walk the puppy but she was taking forever so I went out for another walk.
He was happy to be released from the section and was heading up the street at break neck speed, good exercise for me!
The autumn colours are changing daily at present.
They are so beautiful.
Loved this vine covering a fence, so colourful with wonderful textures.
And along another street the ginkgo trees are changing  from green to golden and preparing to drop their leaves.
Absolutely stunningly beautiful.
Mahalia had begun preparing dinner so when I arrived back I carried on with the card I was making.
Then once it was finished we all ate dinner together.
Azzan was very tired, not a lot of sleep was had last night followed by a fairly social day.
It was really nice to have the fire going, it makes the kitchen so cosy.
We were all off to bed quite early.
A very early morning to look forward to tomorrow.

Friday 20th May

A wonderfully wet day.
I really love wet days.
Something energising about them.
Especially when we have had such a long spell of dry weather.
They also mean I can’t get out into the garden which is a bit of a mixed blessing.
I have so much to do out there but no inclination.
My physical self is screaming NO!
My shoulder is constantly aching at the moment so the idea of weeding and spreading loads of mulch is not really a happy thought.
So the rain precludes all ideas of that for now.

It wasn’t raining when the kids left but it was cold, grey and threatening.
I had breakfast and then took Caspian for a walk.
I had time on my return to deal with several matters arising via email.
Plus had a long and very helpful conversation with a lady from Trustpower re the best way to use my heat pumps.
Then left him outside with a bone while I shot off to my 10:15am appointment.
On the way the rain began.
Have been feeling really flat and despondent over the past few days.
It’s like the light at the end of the tunnel is constantly receding out of my grasp.
And all the responsibility for all the decisions are on my shoulders.
And my shoulders are so sore and aching – physically and metaphorically – that I can’t carry this load any more.
The smallest things are tipping my over in spite of me trying so hard not to allow myself to get stressed.
By the time I finished my session it was pouring down so I shot back home to put Caspian inside.
He normally hides from the rain but this time he greeted me all wet – he had obviously been playing out in it.
But he was very happy to be let indoors and went screaming up and down the hall with happy craziness.
I turned on the heatpump as I left to take the chill off the kitchen.
Then off to the bank to have a meeting with my business banker.
He was sick so I had his offshoot so had to bring him up to speed, and then had no resolve due to his inability to make decisions.
Not sure whether that was a waste of an hour or not really – sigh!
As I left I called Sasha.
Decided that as I had a free afternoon to go out and visit her.
Picked up some baked stuffed kumara and whizzed on out in the pouring rain.
She was very pleased to see me.
We had a good time, talking, hugging, folding laundry, moving furniture.
Plus I had the bonus of lots of Arielle cuddles 🙂
A good afternoon.
I left them around 3pm.
I zipped back into town, exchange my slipper boots for some that the soles were actually glued on properly!
Called into Nelson Beauty and had a chat with the girls before coming home.
Mahalia & Raphael were already here.
Azzan arrived back at 4:30pm and zoomed through the shower, cleaned up his room, had a quick bite to eat and then I drove him up the street to his friends house.
It was dark and wet and we hadn’t been there before so were glad when another friend arrived to show us how to get to the right place.
The kids immediately disappeared into he rumpus room where their sleepover was happening.
I went inside and met Bridget & Tom.
We had a great chat and then took the kids sushi dinner out to them.
I left Azzan to enjoy his evening with Eliza, Alice & McKenzie.
After their dinner they were going into the final of Rock Quest and then returning for the sleepover.
I reminded them that the operable word in that is ‘sleep’ but they didn’t think it was 😉
Mahalia & Raphael were engrossed in a movie so I took my dinner to bed and watched the last episodes of Married at First Sight.
Had a late night chat with Marah which was a nice way to finish my day xxx

Thursday 19th May

The kids slept in this morning so it was a bit of a scurry for them to get out the door.
I retreated to the shower once the bathroom dance was over so they were all gone by the time I appeared back in the kitchen.
I was on pager this morning so had a handover chat with Jenni.
Always nice to catch up.
I had the two slow cookers up on the bench and was preparing dinner whilst talking.
Multi tasking at it’s finest 🙂
I made two chilli beans – one with meat and one without.
Set them on high and then made my breakfast.
Watched Broadchurch while eating – wow, what a gripping story.
I love the subtle referencing to Thomas Hardy woven in.
I’ve always been a fan of his since studying him at high school.
Seb arrived to do some paperwork and after he left I found a large bone to keep Caspian happy while I zipped into the city for a couple of hours.
I picked up my referral form from the physio and dropped it off at Radiology.
Got the gen on how timeframe for my shoulder treatment will work.
I was expecting it to take ages to be done but it is sounding like it could only be a week or two away.
I’m trying not to freak out.
Am trying to imagine life without the pain to cover the images of the needles – eeek!
Then I rocked up to The Kitchen.
It is a new cafe in Bridge Street which I have heard so much about.
It was so busy when I arrived.
I was early so decided against waiting there and went for a wander.
Got back 10 mins later and the crowd had thinned.
Tracey arrived soon after and we nabbed the only free table.
I ordered a salmon paleo bun.
I’m avoiding bread like the plague at present but couldn’t see anything else.
I was pleasantly surprised.
The bread looked like it should be very heavy and dense but it wasn’t.
It was actually really good.
The Winter Spice smoothie I decided to try was also really really good.
It contained coconut water, feijoa, chilli, mint, carrot, lime.
Really hit the spot nicely.
All in all the cafe hit the spot very nicely.
It was really great to chat with Tracy as we hadn’t caught up in  nearly a year.
After an hour of good food and great company we had to both get on with our days.
I popped into Warehouse Stationery to suss out printers.
Seb’s printer/scanner has felt the repercussions of the recent severe power surges and has died so we need a new one  :-/
The guy in there commented that there had been a lot since the latest lightening storms.
Back home again to a ‘happy to see me’ puppy.
Anson had been while I was out so more feijoas to enjoy – yaaah!
After what seemed to be a very slow start to the season we are now in a bit of a glut.
They are everywhere, people can’t sell them now.
I chilled out for the afternoon and watched the rest of Broadchurch.
Raphael arrived home and took Caspian for a walk up the Matai.
They were gone for ages so there was one very third puppy on return.
We had dinner – just the three of us as Azzan had not come home between school and youth group.
Mahalia helped me do some painting in the bathroom.
Just a few bits of touching up which suited a younger steady hand and better eye sight than her mother’s 😉
Raphael doesn’t seem to be interested in going out socialising with his friends and just hangs around here when not at his classes.
Tonight I suggest he might like to watch a movie!
Mahalia had homework to do but I was feeling a little restless so suggested some spontaneity to her.
It didn’t take long for her to decide between homework and going out for coffee with her mother.
In fact it took longer for her to figure out what to wear 😉
I was out the door in 5 minutes and waiting for her in the car while she figured out which jersey or jacket was appropriate.
We just figured out on the way where we might go, sorta headed towards Cafe Affair, mulled over the idea of trying out The Waka as we drove past but then settled on East Street much to Mahalia’s delight.
It was after 8pm so a few tables free.
We decided that dessert was a good option so got both drinks and dessert menus.
The cheesecake of the day was Baileys & Almond so we opted to share one of those and then chose our drinks.
The game is that we have to choose a different menu option than normal as we tend to stick to our favourite.
So tonight our choices were Quince & Lime with soda water for me and Kola Nut, angostura bitters & lime with soda for Mahalia.
The consensus was that I liked my drink – very light, crisp and refreshing but for Mahalia once was enough.
It was a very pleasant interlude in our evening.
Nice to spend some one on one time.
A musician was setting up to play just as we were leaving.
If it wasn’t for school and homework we may have dallied longer.
So home we came, Mahalia got back into her homework and after cleaning up a bit I went off to bed.
Azzan arrived home after 9:30pm.

Wednesday 18th May

I woke up at 5am and found Azzan’s light on too.
He was working on his essay that had to be emailed to his teacher before he left for school today.
Nothing like leaving it to the last minute – again :-/
He ended up emailing it to me and coming in and cuddling up on my bed and I worked with him to get it done.
Apparently the teacher was very pleased with the results, and he did tell her I had helped him.
From there though the morning went to custard.
The rain was torrential so I offered to drive them to school.
Mahalia accepted gratefully but Azzan announced that he was leaving early and walking as he was going to have breakfast with at a friends house.
Once again, sprung on me at the last minute when he had known of the invitation for two days and had also not given the parents an opportunity to communicate.
I was unimpressed and kiboshed the plan.
So he argued and then walked.
I had forgotten to bring the car inside last night so it was all ready to go when we ran out at 8:15am.
I zipped Mahalia up to the Girls College and then dropped Raphael near the English Centre.
I was too early for the shops I needed to go to so came back home.
Fiona called me so I sat in the car and had a bit of a cry on her shoulder.
Then took Caspian for a short walk as the rain had abated.
It was 9am by this time so I drove back to Hello Banana and picked up a couple of things before heading out to Crusoes Cafe.
Fuelled up the car on the way.

It was a lovely surprise to meet up with Peta there.
Hadn’t seen her since Azzan stopped ballet.
Sally arrived soon after.
It was supposed to be morning tea but I hadn’t had breakfast yet so succumbed to the Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon.
That really filled me up!
We had a lovely couple of hours talking.
Hadn’t seen Sally since my birthday as we have both been busy care giving for family members.

I hit the floor today.
Spent most of it with eyes overflowing .
It is 3 years and 3 months today since Timmy left me.
It is not getting any easier.
Today all the balls I am juggling felt like they were crashing down around me.
All the responsibilities that are resting solely on my shoulders just all got too much.
I had a day of not wanting to shoulder any more burdens.
Yesterday I went off to the physio.
When I came out I was about to pick up my phone and call Tim.
I wanted to tell him what is in store for me.
I wanted him to know that this bloody shoulder of mine is going to have horrid great needles shoved into it and that I really need him there with me when it is being done.
Even though I know he hated needles.
Dammit Timmy!
Answer your phone!
I just can’t do this alone anymore 😦

When we left it was midday and the rain had set in again.
We talked under the eves outside for a few moments longer and then ran to our cars.
I came back home and just felt like utter crap so lit the fire, made a cup of herb tea and curled up on the sofa.
Watched the beginning of a rubbish movie which put me into a doze.
I decided to have a look at the Broadchurch series.
Watched the first one, must say it is rather intriguing.
Decided I really should get some dinner underway so made a pad thai.
Azzan came in sometime after 4:30pm.
He was very loving and cuddly and we were able to have a good talk bout stuff.
Raphael arrived in and then took Caspian for a long walk.
They returned just before dinner.
Caspian was filthy with mud, happy, hungry and tired.
The boys and I had dinner and then I went to pick up Mahalia.
Dropped into Countdown to pick up a few items on the way.
Mahalia had gone over to the hospital to visit Emma after school.
They just hang out, talking and playing cards – nice 🙂
I had found some filled laminations at the supermarket for Mahalia so she zipped back up to give some to Emma.
Hospital food is pretty rubbish so its nice to counter it with some yummy treats.
Back home and we had a chat about the info she had gotten from the Careers Roadshow which was on at the school today.
She is sussing out which university she should aim to head to, of course it has to be one with a strong rowing club.
Bed early tonight.
Emotionally worn out.