Crystal Clear

The brightness of colour in Autumn here isn’t one of blazing autumnal leaves in fall (unless you journey to the South Island). Most of the native trees are evergreen. But the sun sitting lower in the sky brings about an incredible clarity to the light reflecting off every surface. Morning and evening the temperatures are cooler, but mid-day sunshine over the past few days has had us shedding layers faster than a skink.

Today and yesterday really have been heaven sent. And our thoughts were very much with ‘Chicken’ Grandma celebrating her Birthday yesterday (the girls brought a tear to her eye singing Happy Birthday on Skype!).

Yesterday, Sophie and I spent the day on Wellington’s waterfront, meeting up with Rachel and Myles, and lunching at Te Papa. After school pick-up I took the girls down for afternoon tea at Maranui and a play at Lyall Bay beach before heading back into town. I met up with Dan early evening to ‘hand over’ the girls at The Brewery so I could head off to the ‘Urban Sanctuary‘. Dan bought me a voucher for Christmas and I (as always) just got in before it expired! Anyway, it was, as expected, an hour and a half of pure bliss enjoying a ‘Health for Life Moor Wrap‘. I returned home feeling very ‘zoned out’ and just in time to kiss Sophie goodnight and play half an hour on the piano for Charli. Magic!

This morning, Charli and Sophie woke late – around 8.30am – and Charli wasn’t at all keen on going to school. Her teacher has been away most of this week and Charli really has built up a great bond with her. Last Friday Charli had a supply teacher, who seems to be regularly taking the class on a Friday, and unfortunately Charli hasn’t taken to her at all. So… seeing as her attendance has been fabulous this term, and the holidays are nearly upon us, we decided she deserved a ‘mental health’ day – and it certainly was!

We drove up to Mt Victoria to enjoy the view, before heading to the Botanical Gardens for a three-hour exploration!

We parked up in the Rose Gardens where the aroma of each rose had us searching for words and stuffing my bag full of fallen petals (which the girls later used to brew up some potent perfume – which a touch of vanilla essence and Charli’s special ingredient of insect repellent!?!). After a light lunch we headed up the Sculpture Walkway, gathering pine cones enroute (which were later transformed into ‘pet pines’).

On reaching the top of the gardens we couldn’t leave without a ride on the cable car – making friends with all the passengers and laughing with the driver. On the way back up we got off one stop early – at ‘University Stop’ to play at the playground there, before heading back to the Rose Gardens. Charli stuffed her pockets with acorns and leaves to take into school for news – and we reminisced at watching squirrels in Grandma and Grandad’s garden (Grandad has a less than savoury story of a squirrel that got stuck in their loft).

[Still waiting for Picasa to upload storage and having problems with Flash and WordPress at the moment – Dan’s promised me a few hours on it so I can upload photos how I want, it’s a slow process at the moment doing one at a time – at least with Picasa I can pop them all up in one group on a slide-show.]

UPDATE 05/04: Sunday night here. Clocks went back an hour last night. Dark at 6.30pm – so 11 hour’s ahead of the UK (yah! Don’t need to stay up really late to phone at a ‘polite’ time in the morning to speak to our dear folks x). Girls went to bed by 8.30pm (one bonus of autumn and winter!) – but now I need to make sure I go to bed earlier too – as the morning will start earlier! Erm, not doing so well on that front tonight – just stepping up the sleepy ladder now – at 11.30pm – oops! Must do better, must do better…