Our break up to Wellington was the juxtapose to our ski staycation. The drive to the ferry in itself was nearly 6 hours and that was before a 3h lunchtime sailing and 45 mins on the other side.

The weather was mixed but it was a lovely break away with my people. We were last in Wellington when we came over to visit NZ before we emigrated which would be close to 10 years ago so it was good to re-visit. Even if our original opinion (wet, windy, crazy traffic and awful parking) still help true! We did the city centre and tourist parts and enjoyed the Air B&B right by the beach.

We drove the Kaikoura highway both ways and it was amazing to see what they have done to get that road re-opened given the devastation after the earthquake in 2016. It’s slow going in parts, understandably but it meant the drive up to the ferry was a little tense at times, but on the way back we were able to relax and enjoy the views.

So much going on. A very picture heavy post as a inadequate catch up. Over the winter we have skied, cooked, played, staycationed and generally enjoyed a steady unrushed flow.

Making my own toasted muesli. Super easy – I ‘measure’ but filling the jar I will be keeping it in with the ingredients. For this batch it was whole oats, coconut flakes, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, chia seeds and mixed nuts. I then pour that into a big bowl, add a little oil, some Himalayan rock salt and maple syrup and give it a really good mix. Then into a hot oven for 10-20 mins turning really regularly.

Mountain parrots (Kea) at the ski fields. They are so naughty – these were busy ripping the rubber off the ski and roof racks and generally being destructive little monsters.

Gymnastics competition. The kid did good. Happy with her self, and how she did. We were proud parents. She made some great personal bests and did herself proud.

Staycation at our local ski field, the cutest mountain cabin with generators that clocked off at 10pm and dont come on again until morning. Amazing views. Mixed weather and some great skiing from the kiddo. She was doing jumps and skiing the whole mountain by the end of our stay. Not bad for someone who came down with a cold on the first night and curled up in bed at 6pm.

It started as a plan to head out and go walking, we left home in chilling air but sunshine and the closer to the mountains (and our walking location) we got the cloud built and rain started falling. We we holed up in a cafe for drinks and chips and a toasty.

We hoped it would clear while we waited but no such luck. The kid ran round for approximately 5 minutes and then declared we should head home and put on cartoons! To be honest I rather agreed with her. On the plus side she looked adorable in her new dungarees from Nana and the chips were delicious!

Hopefully next weekends plans go more smoothly.

A trip down south. A couple of night away and such fun. A breath of fresh (wintery) air.

Hiking in the shadow of our amazing countries tallest mountain. Icebergs on glacial lakes. Sunsets over snow. Steep climbs leading to big views. Swing bridges and handstands. Autumn colours and steep moraines. And a sneaky pic thats got me in it.

We had a lovely day out with friends out in the backwaters of the Hurunui to kick off the Easter weekend. It was a perfect day, sunny but not to hot and we found the coolest domain with a great play area and lots of awesome shade for a picnic lunch.

The kids played for ages before we headed out into the hills to check out a cool camp site and then the river – and a small side stream for the kids to play in.

It was a great day out in an area that is only a couple of hours away but one that we haven’t explored at all before. Such a beautiful backdrop and somewhere we wouldn’t have easily discovered without the invite from friends.

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.

In early December we were lucky enough to head up to the North Island for the work christmas party and we tacked on a couple of days in Rotorua while we were up there. We did the whistle-stop tourist tour. The Luge, the volcanic areas and the redwoods.

The thermal volcanic area is amazing, but as the kid would tell you emphatically “it smells awful”. She’s not wrong, those amazing colours have to come from something, and in no small part thats sulphur – which stinks. It’s worth the stink to see it.

The luge is great fun, its a really long track down and the chair lift back up is almost as equally delightful as you meander above the fern trees and between the woods with the birds singing on both sides.

The redwoods are everything I hoped for and more. By the time we got there there were sore feet and hunger complaints and we opted for the tree top walk rather than a couple of hours tramp which id hoped to do. The high walk was great fun, longer than I expected (in a good way!) and not to horrifyingly high or wobbly for a big wuss like me. I did a short walk through the woods after and cannot wait to do more.

We are already planning another trip up at some point in 2018 if we can, a less tourist trip this time doing with lots of tramping, exploring and relaxing.

December 26, 2017 Little Adventures

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We are lucky that half way through the exhausting final few months before christmas the weather gets warmer, the days get longer and lighter and there is even a public holiday that coupled with a teacher only day at school (a new thing for us!) we turned into a 4 day weekend.

One of those days we headed to the beach and enjoyed paddling, drone flying and a walk along the cliffs. Embracing summer and taking time to make the days special.

We had a lovely trip over to the coast a couple of weekends ago. We went primarily as the kid had a gym comp over there but turned it onto a nice couple of family days and walking and exploring. Pictures in reverse order as thats how they loaded and I’m to lazy to move them about. All off my phone as well as we both forgot to take cameras with us! Oops.

The drive over was lovely and went nice and fast, it’s a gorgeous drive although twisty and bendy in parts and requires a lot of concentration. We stopped off at Hokitika Gorge, the beach and then the Air B&B. It was the sweetest little old school villa but warm and cosy and comfy and close to the town centre (and competition gym).

We ate supper at a old school pub with the cutest friendliest pub cat and after we saw glow worms in two seperate grottos – they were amazing! Its like looking at a starry sky, but your staring at a earth bank! After a successful competition we headed to an amazing tree top walk (so high, so very very high) we headed home and stopped at the kids favourite spot on the way for a walk and fresh air.

So lovely to be back in our familiar spaces

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’.

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