Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sundays and Stampin up!!

Another good day spent this weekend was our Stampin Up! Christmas get together.
We made three lovely projects and then iced cupcakes and made cake toppers for them. To be truthful I wasn't in the mood when making the topper. Wasn't in the 'thinking things up' creative mood, more like the 'show me what to do and I'll do it' mood. But I had a go,wasn't anywhere near my best.
But was a good day and I got to spend it with my up-line Tash, so that was great to catch up.

Recharging the soul

On Saturday we went to the Mount (Mount Maunganui)which is on the Pacific coast.

We had a 'cow' of a week, I had a load of crap in work (nothing much new there), one of our chooks (Marjorie) died and someone shafted us (which I can't go into on here) but it knocked the stuffing out of all of us. So I wanted to get to the beach to recharge the soul. I am really realising just how much that I am attached to the water. I still don't think I'd chose to live by the beach at this moment (I don't think you appreciate something when you live on top of it) maybe later when I have the time to appreciate it.

We decided on the Mount as we haven't been there in a while. The thing is with the mount I love it and dislike it too. The reason I dislike it is that it is very built up and gets 'busy', reminds me of Spain type of place (not quite) and I prefer a typical kiwi style beach that is one without the crowds. But the thing about the place (one of the reason why I love it) is every time I see the white sand and the blue blue ocean it takes my breath away as I think "we live here - a hour and half away. WOW!!!!"

So we went in the water. S and L did body boarding I just did wadding and after the initial cold the warm was quite warm and very refreshing. There were lots of jellyfish (as the water temp is warm) but they weren't the stinging kind.

We later went into town to have a look at the shops and get hot chip for dinner and then went for a walk on the island. We wanted to take some piccies (shhhh it's a surprise) and there is a geocache on the island so we did our 100th cache!!

So it did as we wanted, we had a great day and certainly recharge us all.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Aotearoa One

Just come back from a FAB trip on Aotearoa One. Aotearoa (is the Maori name for New Zealand - land of the long white cloud) and they used the English word for one so it was the coming together of the two worlds.
I went on it as part of my course at Te Wananga O Aotearoa. It was for us to learn in a different environment and pushing past our boundaries. We were really lucky to have on board Manulani Meyer who is an awesome lady, she is a Doctor from Hawaiian. I heard her talk at the two day symposium I went to and had the honour of her sitting in on my talk and saying lovely things at the end.
We left Whangaparaora after 9.00 at night on a drizzle evening with poor visibility. We left under motor at first. Later as we went North we put up the sails and went mostly under sail. We all had to put the sails up as a group. Our group wasn't on watch till 3.00 am (I know!!) so we cat napped on the seats around the deck. I support one of my friends who was feeling really sea sick, she wasn't the only one several were. I was the only pakeha (white person)on board and wasn't in the slightest bit sick YAY!!
At one stage while I was napping I heard a shout and woke. K said it's ok they just saw a dolphin but it's gone now. Now it one of my dreams is to see dolphins in the wild not Seaworld. SO was gutted that I missed it and went back asleep, only to be woken to be told there was dolphins along side us. It was pitch black and hard to see them but it made them more mystical as they shimmered in the water. They are so fast and we mostly had 2 or 3 swimming in between hulls but at one stage there was 6 in total. So although I didn't take any piccies or see them properly as I said it was more magical to see them like that. Awesome was over the moon.
We went to bed around 3 and although we were meant to be woken up at 4 I woke to the sound of fish flapping on the deck at 6.00am. The fish was caught filtered and put on the barbie and eaten for brekkie. It was later followed by some of the fellows diving for Kaimoana (seafood) so I tried fresh scallops - didn't fancy the kina.
I was asked to record the ships log as we sailed home. When it was time to put up the sail Manulani was also doing the task with me, I was put on the sheets and had to use the ropes, she was behind me helping. As I was waiting I looked up and shouted "Granddad/Pop I hope you can see me and feel proud" especially as Granddad had 5 mok puna (grandchildren) and I was the only girl. Both my grandfathers were sailors and I know they sailed to NZ and they were on my mind for most of the journey. SO as I was pulling on the ropes Manulani was saying "Come on Jan you are from a line of sailors, you are from Liverpool your home city is a port - call on them for your strength" and I did it was very moving and great that I did it I over come a barrier.
I was put on watch as we entered the port and filled in the log for the last time as docked.
It was such a great (which is an under statement) honour to have to share with some fantastic people - whanau (family) in the true sense of the word.
I am truly lucky.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Rites of passage!!

When you turn 15 in New Zealand you are able to learn to drive!!!! In the UK it is 17.
Here you sit your learners which is a test then you can drive for at least 6 months with a driver supervisor, then you can sit your restricted, which is a driving test which means you are able to drive, within a set time of the day, on your own (no passengers except drivers). Till you are able to go for your full licence 18 months later (or 12 months if you do an advanced driving course).
So today Key turned 15, he has been waiting for this birthday before we even got to NZ. After school we met him off the school bus and took him into the office. The lady there knows me because I am always in there with my trainees.
Key sat the test, which is now on the computer. I watched, as I always do, to see the green ticks appear on the screen. Key made a few mistakes (you fail on the 4th) and got down to the last two answers. He had got two wrong up to then. Then a red cross on one of the picture questions, then the last question. This was it - get it right you pass - get it wrong you fail. I could see him going between 2 questions. He clicked on one of the options then changed his mind and clicked on the other and went for it. A red cross appeared. He was so upset.
So I paid for him to resit there and then.
He got two wrong and then the green ticks continued and we saw a pass appear on the screen.

We then had to take him out for a quick driving lesson. We went to a quiet country land and let him take the wheel. We have a automatic so at least he wasn't trying to use gears too (that will come when we can buy a manual). I sat in the front seat and we went down the long road (we did meet 2 cars) and he did well.
So all good but next stop the main roads - GULP!!!

Sitting in the booth doing the test

YAY!! Passed on the screen

Putting his L Plates up.

I am not scared - honest

In the hot seat

Actual driving on the road!!

Look at this lovely birthday cake that his sister made him. I know it's pink but we'll call it an Everton cake as they are playing in pink this season. She is really special making this for him.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

We wish you a merry christmas............

What??? I hear you all saying but on Saturday 26th JUNE (sorry for only posting now! Been busy) we had Mid Winter Christmas. What??? I hear some of you saying. Mid Winter is when some Kiwi/expats do the Christmas thing as it is winter for us in June and "Chestnuts roasting on a open fire......." & "Walking in a winter wonderland" makes more sense at that time of the year compared to walking around in short when we do our Xmas shopping or my fav is when the deccies fall down as the blue tack melts in the heat!!!LOL.
We went (key stayed at a friends birthday sleep over) to my dear friend Ange and as she has just had a new fire fitted it seem appropriate. She is from the UK too and there where Kiwi friends there also.
She even put a tree up and we all got small gifts for each other!!!
We had a big feed (my nut loaf was a disaster!!) and a chocolate Christmas cake complete with silver fern!!
She had asked me to bring over the Royal Family Christmas Special - the cuppa soup with a twist one. But we couldn't find it anywhere and as we were running late, we had to leave it. But later in the evening Ange shouted me into the family room (where the TV was on) and guess what......... it was actually on the TV (Sky UK TV channel) we laughed so much not because of the show but the irony of it all. Our kiwi friends didn't get all the jokes in the show!!
It was totally surreal and I was thinking Christmas can be bad enough once a year never mind doing it twice, but it was good fun and did feel more like Christmas.
A goodnight was had by all and I did say when we were all leaving, that are we doing it again next week as wasn't that New Year????

Ange and me - notice the wine glasses which has loving being called the spa pool (yes I did have one or several of them!!)

J eating jelly with holly in it

Me and Jim Royal, just like Christmas in UK!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Cambridge Autumn Festival

Well it is certainly turning into Autumn, the leaves are falling everywhere and with Cambridge being the town of trees, there are quite a lot leaves around.
The evening have turned chilly too (oh how I wished we had a log burner!!)but still when the sun shines it's still warm.
Today was the town's autumn festival and both kids were taking part.
Key playing cello in the Irish Ceilidh band that he's in at school on one corner of the town and Lou sang a solo (unaccompanied as well) on another, plus she sang in church this morning too. Gotto give these kids credit for getting up and having a go.
It was a lovely day and saw lots of friend and had a cuppa and a catch up with some others. Got some nice bits and bobs too (they had a wee market there).

Gosh time flies............

I can't believe that it was that long since I last blogged. It has been a busy busy time. But what have you missed?????

Well Lou had her birthday, Key had his head shaved for Canteen, we had a lovely Easter camping right on the South Pacific and the season has changed to Autumn (not as cold as the Autumn I am used to in the UK but it doesn't take long to acclimatise!!)
So here are piccies from the last month or so........
Lou's birthday
Lou had a good birthday, I can't believe she is 12!! To make me feel even older, she had an 80's party with mocktails.

Key's head shave for Canteen
Key had decided to get his head shave and raise some money for Canteen. Canteen is a charity for teens with cancer. He did it in the name of his Aunty Ruth - who died at 17 of cancer (two weeks after being my bridesmaid) 18 years ago. Funny enough the morning of the head shave her song came on the radio - it was her way of saying she approved!! After he did it he did look like a kid with cancer (as his eyebrows are really fair) and it gave me a a pain in the pit of my stomach but I also thanked God that he wasn't and it makes you think what's important. But anyway I am proud of him.
Before with a friend who was also involved

Half way there!!

The end result

Easter camping trip.

We had been here before 2 years ago but came back for the long weekend (we had the Tuesday too). We explored further than last time and founds some lovely places. We managed to fit in a cache or ten too!! All this and a live volcano on the horizon!!
Camp fires of an evening. The family next to us got the ukuleles out one night and had a sing song - was just the best!!

Lovely sunsets each evening - better then TV any night!!

Parked right on the beach (our tent is the one with the pink chair)

Paddy having a ball too!!

This is the most further eastern point (first to see the new day!). We climbed over 700 steps to get to the top and it did near kill me!! But was worth it - totally stunning.

Kids all tucked up for the night!!

Chilling. Good job we brought food though as the fish weren't biting for anyone at the camp. I was reading my uncles book he had sent to me.

This beautiful church right on the beach. We got lots of lovely shells from that beach, the kids called it the Paua pools and Lou said it was like finding treasure - natures treasure.

On our way to the waterfall, crossing the stream and oh yes I did fall in. But the kids and Stevie had a shower in the waterfall - yup it was freezin!!