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!
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.
July has flown past with few pictures being taken by me. Motel living, house purchasing and furnishing and all that goes with it. We enjoyed a slowing as we settled into our new home and the kid was able to relax and unwind. I think we all have.
June – oh my didnt you just fly by.
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’.
Our last days in Norway were spent in Geiranger and Bergen. I didn’t get any pics of Bergen. We just had a quiet walking and exploring day and because it was a bit overcast the camera stayed in the bag. It is a beautiful town, full of little nooks and lanes as well as a great place to walk, eat and relax (and buy reindeer skin – if you’re me anyway)
Geiranger was probably our most favourite place of the whole trip – magical. It was another foggy morning when we docked but by the time we had got up out of the village and into the hills it cleared into the most beautiful day. We hiked up to Storseterfossen waterfall – it was a steep steep hike but great fun and well worth it. The views were magnificent. On the hike back down we stopped off at a little farm and got ice creams and drinks before descending the final few km’s to the village.
Leaving through the fjords was spectacular – none of the pictures can capture the scale of the waterfalls, hundreds of feet tall, plunging into the fjord, straight down the cliffs. One un-captured but magical moment was seeing a ice dam release at the head of an almost vertical glacier further up the fjord and vast quantities of water snow and ice cascading down like an enormous waterfall. Only to vanish minutes later.
It’s not a bad life – Norway was definitley the highlight of May.
We had a wonderful trip up the English Channel to Norway – smooth calm seas and most of the travelling done at night. Our first stop was Stavanger and we headed out of the town to hike the Manafossen waterfall. It was a short but steep walk up to the top to view the falls but well worth the effort. Lots of scrambling up steps and rocks holding a chain. The kid was delighted! We didn’t really venture into the town much – towns aren’t really our thing, and drizzle and decreasing temperatures meant we headed inside for hot chocolate and crepes. had a wonderful trip up the English Channel to Norway – smooth calm seas and most of the travelling done at night. Our first stop was Stavanger and we headed out of the town to hike the Manafossen waterfall. It was a short but steep walk up to the top to view the falls but well worth the effort. Lots of scrambling up steps and rocks holding a chain. The kid was delighted! We didn’t really venture into the town much – towns aren’t really our thing, and drizzle and decreasing temperatures meant we headed inside for hot chocolate and crepes.
Our second stop was Skjolden – a tiny little village at the end of a long fjord. We woke to thick and uninspiring fog which cleared delightfully into a beautiful sunny blue skied day. We walked up into the hills to look down on the village, following a small track back through the woods along the lakeside. After a ice cream break and stocking up on water we followed the other side of the lake to go and look at some more huge waterfalls. There were a lot of waterfalls on this trip – half way through the kid announced “yes mum, its a waterfall, just like all the others!”
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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