Saturday, January 26, 2008

Cicada Season Again.....

Oh, joy of joys!:

Friday, January 25, 2008

Breakfast, Katie-Stylez.....

We were blessed to dine with Kate and The Gang *really* early this morning, and I used blessed because of stuff like this:

Yep, that's a perfect espresso with chocolate coated coffee beans and her Mum's famous homemade biscotti on the side, and the most gorgeous spirulina smoothie you've ever had the pleasure of downing on a morning. Aunty Kate did a stirling job of shooing away any hovering kidlets while we enjoyed our little Mummy-moment in the sunshine with the trickling sound of the fountain in the background.

It wasn't long before we were treated to Katie's Fantabulous French Toast with Bacon, Banana and Maple Syrup (we, as in everyone *but* No-Carbs-Katie - that'll be why she looks like she does and I look like I do - she stops at First Breakfast, LOL!).

We love them for more than the culinary delights we get indulged with at theirs, you know ;o) There's the unsurpassed conversation, serenading, fun stuff to do, awesome peeps to glean new knowledge from, to name a few:

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

RIP, Judy Abel.....

A long-time friend of the Blair family passed away on Sunday (the 20th), and The Lad and his brother went down to Gisborne for the funeral today. Aunty Sokchea and James stayed with the kids and I at home, which was fabulous for us.

Aunty Sokchea turned out to be the champ at the tight-rope walking the girls set up:

And we taught her how we make Sushi, which is what we had for lunch (and what Uncle Graeme will be getting for the next few days while she relishes in her new-found knowledge, lol):

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Aunty Colleen's.....

The kids love going round to Aunty Colleen's place to see her because she is always so pleased to see us and makes us such a fuss over the kids:

Her dogs are also a major attraction, here's Pumpkin on the left and Fats on the right - Duke didn't make it into the photo:

The Lad wanted his hair cut while we were there, so the girls and I had a bit of fun with it:

And, just because Nana will love (NOT!) the fact that we included it, I've tacked this photo on to the end of this post:


Nana with Aunty Jill, Taramea and Raukura when they went to visit her while they were back in Aotearoa:

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Otaki Taku Awa.....

Yep, The Lad came back to get us after all ;o) Lucky he wasn't in time for breakfast though, because L10 and Poppa made Nigella Lawson's Hotcakes for breakfast and we had them with maple 'flavoured' syrup - he's so fussy about having 'actual' maple syrup, and not 'maple flavoured' syrup!

We had just packed our morning tea and drinks and were getting ready to walk out the door when he did arrive, so after a quick hello we decided that since we now had our car back, we'd venture further than the stream down the road. We traipsed off to Otaki River for a swim with some of the cuzzies - there's something about a (bloody cold!) stoney bottomed river, don't you reckon?:

Mahaki's 21st.....

PJ, Nathan and Keri helping to set up:

Aunty Vick running the set-up show:

Meremaraea and Tony:

Rawiri, Jodi, Tu Kaha and Davida:

Lynette and Uncle Paul:

Kalais, T and Damien:

Uncle Bill:

Aunty Helen and Aunty Elsie:

H8 and I:


Nathan and Aunty Jan:

Ra, Lees and Dazza (looking a bit worse for the wear - he must be getting too old to do the old stay up all night and then drink the next day thing!?):

Friday, January 18, 2008

Friends, Whanau and a National Treasure.....

Nana and Poppa lent us their car today and so we headed off to The Big Smoke (I LOVE WELLINGTON). On the way down, we stopped in to see the Happy Hippies *in person*:

And then we called in to Ange's to hang with her and her four kiddo's and associated extras, plus Nana, Uncle Trev and Britts and Aunty Pauline. For some strange reason, I only have two photos of this fab afternoon, and they're both of Ange - go figure?:

Then we turned down her very kind and very insistent offer of dinner and hooned into 'town' to go to Te Papa (luckily we chose a day it was open really late):

I was telling the kids on the drive in how much I loved the instant you got to see the city over the harbour when you come down the bottom of the gorge from Porirua. I was telling them to look for it, as it sort of hits you out of the blue all of a sudden, and it gives me nostalgic gooseys EVERY time I see it. One night, many years ago when we were living there, I made Barrie drive me into town (Wellington City, lol) and stop (probably illegally) on the side of the motorway and we took heaps of long-exposure photos with the roof of the car as our tripod. I was trying to find them to scan in, but I remembered we had used a slide film (actual film in the camera - that's how many years ago we're talking here, lol!), so next time you're round visiting and you've had too many Bailey's, I'll get out the projector and treat ;o) you to a slide show (thinking to myself that that might be a good Family Fun Night idea - bore the kids instead, lol!).

Anyway, this rather bad shot of Wellington's night lights from A11's camera tonight reminded me of that story:

We called in to see Aunty Vick to say Happy Birthday (while it was still officially her birthday) before we headed back to Nana's and to bed:

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Don't read this, Hay!

Here's some of Poppa's sheep this morning:

Here's one of Poppa's sheep (the naughty one, who kept escaping from the paddock, and getting into the neighbours glasshouses, really expensive glasshouses, with his (legitimate) livelihood growing in there) this afternoon:

Now, I'm not usually one for shirking food, but although I did (or have in the past) partake in (and enjoy immensely) sweetbreads, brain, kidney, liver, tongue, heart, etc. I *did* draw the line at mountain oysters. Nana thought they looked a bit like baby dolphins, and L10 thought they looked a bit like titties, I just couldn't get past the fact that they were testicles.

Didn't bother Poppa and A11 though, they fried them up and ate them up.

Nope. Still not for me.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


This morning we dropped Poppa at his physio appointment and then went to Otaki Library to overload Nana's library card. Apparently, they don't have anything similar in the Tauranga Library, and we can't possibly wait a few days until we get back to get out books on our own library cards!

Nana and Poppa took us for a drive this afternoon to Foxton, we saw the windmill (an actual working flour mill, don't you know?):

Then we went to Foxton Beach for a look around, and the kids had a swim off the jetty near the river mouth:

And because Poppa had packed the fishing rods, tackle box and some bait, we had a bit of a fish, too. This was the extent of our catch, and so we stopped in at the supermarket on the way home for fish for sashimi for our dinner:

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Playing at Nana's.....

Today was a bit drizzly in the morning, so we spent that inside doing jigsaws and playing boardgames from the cupboard that we used to play when I was a kid, like Squatter and Grand National and Hi-Q and Funny Bones and.....

After lunch, the girls and Nana took off to the pond to see if they could catch some frogs they had heard earlier in the day, and the girls found these pigeon eggs in the barn (Nana and Poppa are secretly hoping they won't hatch - they are not pigeon-in-the-barn fans):

Then Uncle Trev and (my) Nana called in on their way back from Palmy airport picking up Britts, so we spent the afternoon with them.

Here's a cool hat that Jacque, Dorothy's Mum, bought Nana from Malaysia for her hat collection. It folds up like a sort of hooked fan and pops in your handbag when you're not using it:

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Exodus Begins.....

The worst part of a big family gathering is when everyone starts going home :o( Uncle Paul started it by leaving first:

But not before A11 got a play on his motorbike:

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Mahaki's 21st.....

Thanks Aunty Jill for the photos, forgot to take the bloody camera, didn't we!!!!!

You knew it was going to be a great night when these folk were on side for the preparation! PJ, Nate and Keri:

Aunty Vick folding streamers:

Meremaraea and Stephen:

Lynette and Uncle Paul:

Damien, T and Calais:

Uncle Billy:

Aunty's Helen and Elsie:

The world's most unflattering photo of sweaty moi, but it shows of the difference between how H8 inteprets "party clothes":

And how L5 interprets it ;o):


Ra and Lees trying to avoid having their photo taken with Dazza:

See why?:

4 generations - Nana, Aunty Jill, Tara and baby Raukura: