The first couple of day of our holiday were spent walking a 14km track deep into the bush and then having a quiet recovery day afterwards, with a trip to the beach and a serendipitous sighting of Orca feeding just off the beach. Quite honestly it was magic and I am or may not have squealed like a kid in a toy shop when I realised what they were – dolphins would have been good – but Orca … mind blown!
After that we had a lovely lunch at Toad Hall in Motuaka and visited the summer festival for a bit. The watermelon was amazing!

It was crazy hot while we were away – over 32 most days and it meant we have to scale back some of our plans as a lot of the walks we planned just weren’t going to be fun in that sort of heat.

Our AirB&B was absolutely lovely and up above the city – the sunset pic was taken from the deck outside our bedroom! But it did mean it was broiling hot with the sun shining in!

February 2, 2018 Homelife

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A new year! Is it weird that I believe that even years are luckier than odd years? i have nothing to substantiate this claim, and in fact it’s possible to infer from the years of blogging that odd years may have actually been marginally better. Or may be there are all the same really, with each having its fair shares of highs and lows.

Anyway! It’s an even year and I’m happy about it. I don’t have any huge resolutions. Predominantly because history has taught me I’m terrible at ‘resolutions’ and making changes in general. I start string and about 3 days in give up and refer back to older stronger habits.

So this year I’ve got intentions (resolutions by another name?) They mostly revolve around being calmer and more present, loosing 15kg and getting fit by running and walking more. So, same as every other year really.

We started strong with bike rides and hiking in the hills and going to the library to get out books to read in the evenings rather than web browsing and surfing social media. I have ordered chatbooks for both my own and the kids instagram accounts and my goal is to be mindful of the pictures I post so the albums become pleasantly collated records not a random mumble jumble of images.

The house is clean, I’m on top of the washing (shock!) and we are putting the phones, laptops and tablets down for more engaged time over puzzles and board games. So far so good. It is only day 8 of the new year tho.
Failing so far … still eating far to much chocolate. Blessings … the bakery is still closed so at least I can’t eat to much cake.

Blogging in 2018. My intention for this year is deceptively simple. I want to blog more regularly and take many many more pictures. I will keep up the 12 Monthly Photos of the Kid, and I am hoping to do 12 Months of Adventures – I think it’s my attempt to be mindful of the passing months and not to miss out on doing something, however big or small. Hopefully by the end of each month I’ll have a couple of adventures to choose from. May be. That’s the idea anyway. Call it work in progress.

January started on a high with a trip to Akaroa to have a walk, wander about and eat good food.

 

Christmas day sprinkler fun.

A year done. Probably not really the best selection I could have come up with but 2017 was not the year of pictures. Hopefully 2018 will be better.

January 1, 2018 12MonthPics, Homelife

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Spring has been kind to us, lot of sunshine and rain to help the rather sparse and patchy grass to grow. School holidays to rest and relax (as well as fight off a lingering bug)
We have done a little planting in the garden, a lot of lawn SOS work and even more hanging about watching kittens play.

The kid is loving school which is in parts lonely as I miss her, a huge relief that she’s adjusted well, academically right where she needs to be and amazing that now our time together has changed and shifted and become lighter and in way, more fun and less intense.

She was offered and accepted a place in an invitational gym squad in the city and is embracing the hard graft like a champ. It has meant she has been able to drop the recreationsl gym classes she was doing and concentrate on working with just one coach.

We had pet day today at her school – huge pet turnout including but not limted to bunnies, chickens, cats, dogs, lambs calfs and ponies. The paler of our kittens (Spencer) attended and loved it – he got cuddled and petted and stroked and purred his way through the day. It also had her making samd saucers, muffins and tie dying some leggings as craft entries. She was mostly just excited about the sausage sizzle!

This week has also seen me minding a friends shop a couple of days and two long ballet show rehearsals after school for a production that has its first performance on saturday.

I’m hoping sunday looks very much like the pictures above, sunny and full of kitten watching!

October 26, 2017 Homelife

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I haven’t really updated here all that much recently. It’s not been a intentional absence as some sort of commentary on my life or of whats going on in the world. Just an accumulation of being busy and not taking many pictures in the past two months.

That’s not to say we have been idle or bored. We got back home to NZ on the last day of June and heralded in 3 weeks of motel living, catching up with friends, playdates, furniture shopping, curtain ordering, and getting back onto an even keel.
The second week home saw massive snowfall and some great fun for the kids (and adults!)

We have moved into our new house and are loving it. Obviously I did have ideas of elaborate and artistic pictures taken of my favourite parts of our new place, but thats not happened yet – it might eventually but perhaps don’t hold your breath for it?
I am baking, cooking and generally starting to feel like I’m reconnecting with my happy space of creating a home for my little family and taking care of them.

The kid is getting back into all activities. She’s very excited to be learning her dances for the end of year ballet and jazz show (Peter Pan!). I was very proud of her having a very respectable outing for a short notice gymnastics ribbon day. Not bad considering she’s missed 6 months of learning the routines etc that all her team mates have had. Settling back into gym is taking a little longer – she adores gymnastics but we are still trying to find the right balance that reflects the training she was so loving in the UK.

And once settled we got kittens. While we still miss our old guys massively these little bundles are just pure perfection. The whiter/creamier ones is our little boy, Spencer. And his mink tabby sister (who is also about 50% bigger than him) is Ellie. They are Ragdoll hybrids and have the greatest temperaments.

Probably the biggest change, and I have no pictures to annotate it with, is that our homeschool journey seems to have rather abruptly ended.

The kid decided, after some discussions with us that she wanted to try school. To see if that would be a better fit and work more harmoniously for her, rather than being at home 1-2-1 with me all day everyday.
So far (week 3) she is comfortable and thriving. Really really happy. While I miss her lots it is hard to feel anything other than joy that she has made a choice that appears to be the right one for her.

Thank heavens for floofy, dozy, crazy and cute kittens to keep me busy!

August 29, 2017 Food, Homelife, homeschooling

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Sorting through pictures I found these hiding on my camera card and they were too lovely not to post – even if they are nearly two months old.
The Isle of Man is a wonderful magical place. We were so lucky and fortunate to be able to spend time there. While for us its not ‘home’ like NZ is – but it is a place I look forward to going back to, doing more exploring and adventuring and having time with family.

Winter there is pretty rough – and we certainly got a share of it. Cold, wet, foggy and grey.
But when the sun does shine. Oh my. It is a beautiful, quintessentially British place. Coastlines with basking sharks and barking seals. Towering cliffs and headlands and those balmy long british summer evenings.

The pictures above were captured on such an evening. On the way home from the beach over the the Sloc we pulled over and took a walk up to the cliffs and headlands. Magical.

Ahh British summer … the best ever… When it’s not raining.

 

August 12, 2017 Homelife

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We were lucky enough to have a lovely few weeks of summery weather before we headed back home into deepest winter. May seems to be one of the nicest months on the UK now and we got a good run of sunny days and trips to the beach.

Above is the beach at Port Erin, its such a gorgeous bay with a little harbour and a long flat gently sloping beach with no big drop off, Great for kids to paddle and for mums wo watch and not stress to hard.

The kid had a great few trips down here, but the last was the only time I took my camera with me. The pontoon was a huge hit with all the kids (most of the beaches have them for summer time) but on this trip the kid hopped off as soon as it floated. The previous day she had waded out and played with friends only to find that it wobbled more than expected and when she jumped off she discovered the water had gone from mid-chest to chin deep. She was more bothered by the wobbling than the change in depth but decided discretion was the better part of valour the next day!

There were a few jellyfish floating around to look at and the wonderful views and soft sand to make angels in and dig through to find ‘treasures’.

It’s not a bad life – Norway was definitley the highlight of May.

 

 

A sunny weekend day and we took the opportunity to explore the blooming woods, mine and local historic water wheel. The mines near the wheel are really interesting, you can walk a few hundred metres into the upper level of one and even in that short distance makes it abundantly clear what a horrible working environment it must have been to work in. The kid was not impressed by it!
We climbed to the top of the wheel and then wandered along the valley. Primroses, bluebells and snowdrops were abundant as well as slowly unfurling fern heads and plenty of dandelions. Blue skies and a bit of sunshine and then a lovely lunch at a local cafe. The Easter holiday flew by. Lots of relaxing and time with family. Far to much chocolate.

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