Beach days, dog days & sunshine paced living

Between Christmas and New Year we’ve had some perfect days; the kind that leave a person feeling completely content at day’s end and very grateful to have a loving, healthy family, living in a peaceful pocket of the world.

Breaker Bay

As I write, on New Year’s Eve in New Zealand, on the last day of 2014, the day itself is not as picturesque as those in the photographs on this post. It’s windy and cool, with the forecast unlikely to make us stroll to the beach to watch the last sunset of the year – but somehow, the inclement weather feels appropriate. This year, for so many thousands of people the world over, has been a heartbreakingly difficult one. The news of ISIS, Ebola, air disasters and other tragedies has been ever present in 2014. As the new year approaches, we can only pray and hope for peace.

In our own little family we are thinking of our family overseas in the UK and have enjoyed a few Skype calls over the festive season. As our daughters have been swimming in the sea, basking in the summer sun, our family in the UK have been wrapping up and bracing the elements.

Swimming at Breaker Bay

The water at Breaker Bay the other day was so crystal clear and calm. We’d gone to the beach spontaneously, having left the northerly beating down on a playground on the other side of the hill. With no swimming togs the two younger girls left their clothes on the beach and took off for a skinny dip!

Our puppy, Cocoa, had a dip too. It was a beautiful place to be and would have been amazing to explore more, with a snorkel and mask.

Breaker Bay

Another evening we enjoyed running on the beach at Island Bay with our dog. It’s a marine reserve area, and dogs are only permitted on part of the beach at certain hours in the summer, but the evening is always one of our favourite times to visit.

Running on the beach at Island Bay with CocoaI love the light as the sun dips down in the sky. The water was so calm and tranquil. Hubby had been out on the paddle board a few hours earlier and returned beaming.

Island Bay

The beach always offers so many impromptu opportunities to run, play and imagine.  Our youngest daughter found a circle of pebbles in the sand and decided to ‘howl’ to the sky! She loves to find sticks too – not just for dog – but often for herself (to make wands or swords).

Island Bay playing

It’s wonderful to know we have a few good months of more days like this, before autumn.

My favourite flower of the season is making me smile at every turn too. I can’t get enough of the red, happy bloom of the Pohutukawa tree – and my youngest daughter is equally transfixed and in absolute adoration!

Pohutukawa trees lining Lyall Bay

I’m carrying this happy glow through into the New Year and so grateful to be living in beautiful New Zealand with my gorgeous family.

Here’s a final smile for the year from our youngest daughter, Alice (turning 5 in February!).


And a smile from me and our dog Cocoa – who has definitely been the best ‘home coming’ present to our return to New Zealand. It’s great to have a new ‘baby’ in the house.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! Hope 2015 is a really wonderful one for you, your friends and family xx


Linking up with –

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall