Ditch the straightening irons: Dreadlocks reign in a Southerly!

As I write there’s a mean southerly blowing and over dinner SJ asked me who was whistling. Erm, that’ll be Mr. Wind love, he’s a regular visitor to these parts! 🙂 It’s always at this time of year I question why I live in Wellington and start perusing real estate websites the world over. Just when I think I can take no more, and ponder on whether to have my hair shaved off or simply let the dreadlocks triumph, Wellington throws us a calm, sunny day with temperates from the summer met-service reports.

This week has been a regular mixed bag of weather and we’ve embraced it with good grace (and the occasional grimace!). At school pick-up today parents clung to children as they walked head-on into the southerly to return to their cars. Those parents already safely back in their tin cans were practically laughing with hysteria and relief at the poor souls still battling their way against a wall of wind.

Looking down the valley from Charli’s school and the incoming southerly:

Earlier in the week was a total contrast. SJ and I ditched our regular story-time for a coffee at The Bach, on Wellington’s South Coast.

We toyed with some Orca spotting and saw none. But that didn’t stop us imagining every rock was a potential flipper waving ‘Kia Ora’ and every random splash was a whale letting it rip from the ‘ole blow hole. However, chalked up on a black-board in the cafe there have been around five sightings this year – so there is hope! But I reckon it would take some serious coffee drinking time or a whole lot of luck to see one! Anyway, not to be deflated by our lack of whale spotting skills we ventured forth to the rock-pools for some small fry and came across a lovely little crab and a few cat’s eyes.

[Note for locals: The Island Bay Marine Education Centre is having an Open Day this Father’s Day – Sunday 7 September from 10am to 3pm. It’s also Conservation Week (visit the Department of Conservation’s website for lots of events to partake in!) and with the marine centre being situated within the newly created, 854 hectare, Taputeranga Marine Reserve it’s a very exciting celebration!]

Later in the week, when the weather turned for the worst, SJ and I enjoyed our regular indoor haunts (library, swimming pool, Tinytown, Te Papa) mixed up with a few play-dates. She is really loving her own time and beginning to develop some wonderful friendships (and I’m getting a chance to have a good natter with adults too! Yah!).

Wednesday we adored story time at the local library – where SJ told the story teller off for laughing at a character in one of the books, ‘Excuse me!’ (with her hand firmly in the air) ‘You know, it’s not nice to laugh at people.’ On Tuesday she’d congratulated her swim teacher on excellent manners, saying in a loud voice, ‘Mummy! Alana has excellent manners’. On Thursday afternoon, when I was struggling to keep up with little Miss Chatterbox and wolfing down some quick fix calories in the form of a chocolate brownie, she loudly said (in front of some local surf dudes), ‘Don’t worry Mummy, if you get a head rush, I’ll look after you!’. Thursday was a really full on day…

It started with school drop off and a southerly rolling in. SJ decides we should go to the Botanical Gardens for a ride on the cable car (I found out the real reason was to buy some ‘wriggly worm’ sweets she’d remembered us getting there on a previous visit – this girls geography of the city is ruled by her tummy!). Anyway, we had a laugh riding down and up and playing cable car driver’s afterwards in the Cable Car Museum (much to the delight of a coach load of tourists!). I finally managed to bribe her away from another game of, ‘Mummy, you’re the driver, you go over there – no not there Mummy – over there – now….’ the bribe? Of course! Wriggly worms!

We’d planned to meet up with a friend at Cheeky Rascals and were running late…. anyway we finally got there (a little more sugar laden than planned!).

After a fun time at Cheeky Rascals (and more coffee for us Mums and even a chance to natter and read a magazine!) we headed home (more bribery required…). On the way home we stopped off at The Warehouse to get some maths and English workbooks for Charli – as she is addicted to them and spends hours before and after school studiously engrossed in them (even taking the completed books into class for news!). We had our first teacher/parent meeting on Tuesday afternoon and we are so proud and delighted for her happiness. She’s making incredible progress in all academic areas and is such an enthusiastic student. She’s settled into school-life so quickly and is already being a good role-model for the newer entrants. Yah! Go Charli!

Anyway… Thursday continues. I thought I’d finally get to go home for an hour before school pick-up but SJ, as I soon discover, has doughnuts on her mind! She says, ‘Mummy I want to go to the airport!’. But whenever we’ve been she’s more interested in the retail outlets and cafe than the planes. So I say, ‘Well, we can watch the planes from Lyall Bay for a while, there’s no need to pay for parking there.’ She keeps protesting and then I say, ‘What is it exactly that you want to do or see at the airport?’ The answer, ‘Eat doughnuts’. This girls seriously lets her stomach rule her head!

Anyway, a quick chocolate brownie (head rush for Mummy!) at the surf cafe on Lyall Bay seems to do the trick, before finally picking up Charli!

The pace of this week has been exhausting! Wednesday was pretty much the same, with shopping, library, Tiny Town, school pick up… where both the girls are keen to linger at the school. We end up playing in the sandpit and talking with children at the ‘after school care club’ for nearly an hour.

Now, finally, we can go home I think!

Oh no! There’s more! We end up driving across town to Pumpkin Patch as Charli’s taken to wearing the same denim dress to school everyday for the past fortnight on account of it looking ‘grown-up’. She does indeed look fabulous in it – but I need to wash it too! I mention that I’d been to a local shop to look for something similar but couldn’t find anything. They both get really excited and ask if we can go Pumpkin Patch. What the heck – I’m never one to turn down a bit of retail therapy (except it isn’t me we’re shopping for). Anyway, we go and come home with a gorgeous smock-like dress (Charli would be right at home in an English school – she’s craving for a uniform and this dress looks just like one!).

Is there anything we haven’t done this week?!

Finally, it’s Friday and whilst Dan’s out at a Beer Festival – Brew NZ – Beervana I’m seriously chilling out and looking forward to a girl’s night out tomorrow! Today was lovely and calm with a play-date (and gossip for me) at Te Papa followed by a few hour’s house work before school pick-up. SJ played happily for an hour talking to a group of bouncy balls about some sort of medical emergency (I didn’t dare ask!). After school we baked scones and played at puppet shows. SJ asleep: 7.30pm Charli: 9.00pm!

Roll on tomorrow…. (and take a break southerlies – my hair can’t take it!).