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Day 20: Windy beach trip, family, more cake preparations

Saturday 8 October

We woke to a bright sunny morning, so N decided to run around the Mount while the girls and I walked the route. Once we got across though, we were put off by the strong winds howling in across the harbour. So we left N to do his two laps round in the wind, and the girls and I went in search of shelter, on the sea-facing beach right at the bottom of the Mount. We were right, it was protected from the wind, and there were large rocks to scramble and rock pools to fossick around in.


I dropped N and the girls home, then went out to buy cake baking supplies, and a few more birthday presents for the big day.

I got home to find that N’s sister S had arrived with her family, and they all took off to the pool, leaving me to bake a cake (and sit around reading a book, while waiting for the oven to heat up), and G to do some more work on his boat.

Once they all came home, the kids were all playing together. It was nice to see them all getting along, as there are a few years between them, and they haven’t seen much of each other growing up. Turns out they all share a competitive streak – the door to the TV room was closed while they were playing on the Wii U so we didn’t have to listen to the shouting.  After dinner we had a scrabble game and I won! I’m very impressed by this, and was given the score sheet as a momento.🙂

Once everyone had left and we’d gotten the girls into bed, I filled and iced the cake, then N and I wrapped up the birthday presents, ready for the morning. Another exhausting day!

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Days 16-19: work, family, swimming and more rain

Well, a week of working and trying to keep the girls, while also running around doing all the many little chores that are required to build a new life, has left me knackered, so the blog lost out in favour of sleeping! So here is a review of the week:

Tuesday 4 October

I had an early start, so I could get work done before popping out to view two houses by the beach (one no, one maybe), and then the girls and I headed off to visit my sister’s. They live WAAAAAAAYYYYYY out in the country:


They live on a farm, and my other sister was visiting, so it was a very sociable visit. The girls got to help feed Zac the lamb, saw the calves, and generally run around with their cousins.

Wednesday 5 October

More work, and also took the new car in to have the Japanese stereo replaced for one in English, and we also had the little talking Japanese lady in the glove box removed. N thinks it was a little gadget for the toll roads, and this disembodied voice would chat cheerfully every time you started the car. S misses her voice.🙂

We had a windy picnic lunch by the beach. L fed a cheeky gull some bread, so we were then stalked by half a dozen of them until we left:


I was a mean Mummy and wouldn’t let the girls on gadgets till late afternoon. They were forced to be creative and play outside. It’s a tough life.


Thursday 6 October

B took the girls to the library. L was in heaven, and has had her nose in a book constantly. There are now books discarded on every flat surface.

B had the girls polishing her silver flatware, in exchange for pocket money. S was hoping L wouldn’t want to do it so that she could have all the money herself. She was quite annoyed with me when I asked her to give Lily the chance to join in.

We went back to BayWave in the late afternoon, and I took my laptop on the off-chance that it would be quiet. It was very quiet, so I got a table and got some extra work done, and the girls had a great time bobbing about in the waves. It was nice to see them playing together, rather than just annoying the bejesus out of each other.

Work on the dragon birthday cake began. I don’t know why I let myself in for these things! I said to L “Should we buy a cake this year? Or would you prefer a homemade one?” She replied that she wanted a homemade one. With a dragon. A gold dragon. From Pern (from the Anne McCaffery books). I should have seen that one coming. Pinterest to the rescue – I managed to find a Pern-like dragon, which didn’t look impossible to get similar to. The dragon started out looking alarmingly like a lizard though:



Friday 7 October

A hectic day, with a few hours work in the morning while B delivered the girls to an ice-cream making course at the library. I was in the zone and totally forgot the time, until N asked what time the finished at the library. I had to drop everything and run out of the door to collect them on time, and then we went off to buy school uniforms ($220 for 8 items!!!), followed by a house viewing (second viewing for the one we liked on Monday – still a firm maybe). Back home via McDonalds to feed the hangry kids, then back to work while they vegged out on their gadgets. We had a lovely roast lamb for dinner, then it was back to the dragon cake, before falling into bed, exhausted.

The weather has been all over the place, with rain, sun and wind all taking turns. We even had a beautiful full double rainbow (my phone camera lens isn’t wide enough to capture the whole thing):


In the bottom left of that photo, you can see the mast on G’s boat – work has been progressing steadily, and earlier in the week the girls were both “helping” him as he worked on it. They were even allowed to do some painting – he’s a brave man! S is getting impatient, and wants to get out on the boat, so does nag G occasionally to get out there and get working on it. She’s such a charmer!

Posted in daily diary

Day 15: Work, rain, snail mail

Monday 3 October

Number of days since I accidentally turned on the wipers instead of indicating while driving: 2
(Although I haven’t actually driven anywhere today, it still counts.)

Today was my first day back at work. So, just to be a cow, the weather decided to start of with a brilliant start of clear skies and sunshine. Luckily, it started raining heavily by about 11am, so I felt better about the whole arrangement.

Work was a bit frustrating, and I found out just what would and wouldn’t work from over here, and which things I’ve been kicked out of. Queue a few emails for tech support overnight, and some support from my on-site technical dude, and I managed to get some work done. My laptop is now back on UK time, to enable me to use one of our internal systems, which is really messing with my head.

Not much else happened today. The kids played, did crafts, played scrabble with B (and won!), chatted to me and squabbled on and off. When B went to get the post from the mailbox, she apologised for the snails living in there, which had eaten my letter:


We sent S, the snail-wrangler, down to sort them out, and she reported that the fat one had paper in its mouth. It does bring new meaning to the term “snail mail”!🙂

The kids are now reading in bed, N & G are watching some suitably testosterone-fuelled film which has driven B from the room, and I’m faffing about to stay awake (yes, I really am that sad) so I can catch up with my colleagues when they get to work.

Tomorrow will be an early start, as I have to work, view two houses, and go visit my sister. But there’ll be driving in my our lovely car, so it will be fine.🙂

Posted in daily diary

Day 14: More house hunting

Sunday 2 October

Number of days since I accidentally turned on the wipers instead of indicating while driving: 1
(Although I did manage to indicate when I went to turn on the wipers. But that totally doesn’t count.)

We started the day with a quick trip to the stationery shop to buy school supplies. The stationery list took me by surprise, as in England you just rock up to school and they provide everything – even the lunch if you pay for hot dinners. But here we need to provide a long list of supplies, although I took some liberties, and only got one or two of some things as they do only have one term left at school this year. There’ll be another stationery list heading our way for January.

Anyhoo, we managed to spend an obscene amount of money in a short space of time, so braved the heavy rain to get back to the car and head home for lunch.

After lunch, we loaded the whole whanau (extended family, for you non-Kiwi readers) into my our lovely new car and went house hunting. This time we were looking at houses near the beach.

We didn’t even go into the first two, but that gave us plenty of time to head the 50 miles away to the next one. I may be exaggerating a little, but it did seem to be a loooooong way from the Mount down in Papamoa East. The house was gorgeous, with a kitchen to drool over, and the price was not too scary, but we decided it was too far out for us.

The next one was nice – it would have been fine, but wasn’t our dream home. Then onto another couple with fabulous views of Welcome Bay, but the houses just weren’t quite right.

Back to the drawing board, and we found a few more worth looking at so sent off some emails to arrange viewings for later in the week.

All of this house hunting is taking its toll on all of us – especially the girls. It’s very unsettling to look at all these houses and find that they’re all not quite right to be our home. S was particularly upset by it, so comforted herself by squeezing the neighbourhood cat until it ran out of purrs or patience and came to sleep by the fire. I guess we all need to remember that this is the boring bit, and that eventually we’ll walk into a house and it’ll be The One. But the rest of them are a bit meh, and that’s not much fun.

Posted in daily diary

Day 13: Seals, open homes & drawing

Saturday 1 October

Number of days since I accidentally turned on the wipers instead of indicating while driving: 0

The weather forecast is wet and windy for the next week, so we took advantage of a dry morning to head around the Mount. N decided to run around, so he went round twice while the rest of us dawdled around just once. Along the way we saw a couple of seals, snoozing the morning away, looking alarmingly dead. Continue reading “Day 13: Seals, open homes & drawing”

Posted in daily diary

Day 12: Spending money & more beach action

Friday 30 September

Number of days since I accidentally turned on the wipers instead of indicating while driving: 1

Well we popped back into the car dealer, just to take another look at the lovely car we saw yesterday, and accidentally ended up buying it! I don’t know if it was just this particular dealer, or just buying a car in NZ in general, but the whole process was remarkably laid back. Continue reading “Day 12: Spending money & more beach action”