Hot, hot, hot!

The past two day’s I’ve actually been thankful for the wind! It’s been hot and I’m not complaining!

Friday was cooler but, with it being Waitangi Day (yah! Three day weekend!), we were determined to enjoy a good family day out. We met up with Kathy and Mark in Eastbourne for lots of ice-cream (basically!).

The children ran wild, we complained about the wind, the Dad’s got to work building dams and other engineering projects on the beach, whilst Kathy and I looked on at the various, half-cut, people in fancy dress heading off on the ferry to NZ Sevens. On our way to Eastbourne we’d seen a fair few costumes and I managed to snap a few photographs as we whizzed past in the car. Charli was on the look out for Star War’s costumes (naturally!), but didn’t see any. Sophie was fortunate to see a group dressed in Thomas the Tank Engine costumes (much to Charli’s distaste – despite the fact I read her those stories and sat through countless DVD’s for two year’s!).

It was pretty windy on the beach, totally opposite from the sunny day Dan had enjoyed with the girls over the hols. We retreated to Eastbourne’s Summer Pool and the adjacent playground by the beach before heading home via Waitangi Park for the festivities and the music.

Saturday started earlier than we would have liked – 7am – but then, we’re back in term time and our children are still too young to understand the meaning of a ‘lie in’. Charli was keen to take us on her school cross-country route and had us marching out the door after her. Up the hill, through the ‘rain forest’ and round the field a few times, combined with a few sit-ups and press-ups, we sure did start the day with work-out!

We returned home for a quick shower and ‘doll up’ session as we had booked a sitting with Pixi Foto for our first ever ‘official’ family portrait (we thought we ought to do it before Charli starts losing her milk teeth!). It was such a relaxed photo shoot and only took about 15 minutes (if that!). They had the positions well worked out and made us and the children feel so relaxed (no silly, grimace type smiles or tongues sticking out from our girls – though we did bribe them with the reward of a lolly if they kept their smiles ‘au natural’!).

After the photo shoot Dan and Charli went for a round of Pirate Ship mini-golf, which Charli absolutely loves – and actually scored hole in one – for real – no cheating! Sophie and I chilled out in the shade and enjoyed the view over the Pahautanui inlet. She spotted a tyre stuck in the mud (the tide was out) and then proceeded to count ten more… so there we sat – tyre spotting!

The sun was beating down by this time and we were in need of some shade, so we headed home. Dan and Charli went out to the pool for a swim (such energy tabs!), whilst Sophie and I stayed home and got stuck into the house-work (well, I did – Sophie watched a Suzy Cato DVD and learned how to boil an egg, turn liquid purple with red cabbage, how to make pop-corn and various other experiments!).

Finally, Saturday night! Dan and I got a night off and headed out to the Southern Cross. It is the only garden bar in the city and has the most amazing atmosphere.

With live band Niko Ne Zna playing we couldn’t help but get up and dance (well, I couldn’t!). The music was a hot and spicy taste of the old countries. Playing music from the gypsy-soaked Balkan States, Niko Ne Zna’s hypnotic melodies and wild infectious rhythms certainly got me movin’ and groovin! Click on the link to hear them play!

The drinks went down smoothly and the company was grand. We got back at a respectable hour (midnight) with plenty of time to down the ‘ole water and prepare for Sunday morning with our energy-tab children! We really were tempted to stay out later, but we’d had such a full on day and our bodies were crying out for sleep (in the old day’s we simply would not have listened and spent all day Sunday in bed… not so now of course!).

Sunday morning came… quickly (I was actually woken at 3am by dear SJ and spent what was left of the night in her bed – sleeping restlessly in the heat). When 7.30am came round to the sound of, ‘Open the curtains Mummy!’ I stood up and suddenly remembered what I’d been doing the previous night – Cossack dancing in high heels! Ouch! The music of Niko Ne Zna had me strutting my stuff in every style and I LOVED it!

And as for Sunday? Well, by choice it would have been chilling at the beach after a loooong lie in. Reading the Sunday newspaper (every page) in a cafe over a BIG latte… but family life continues (and we wouldn’t have it any other way!). So…. after a quick clean up and mow of the lawn we headed out to the Chinese New Year Parade. Year of the Ox in case you missed it – and Dan’s an Ox – not literally of course! – And so is Obama.

Anyway, the parade was lovely, but the heat too much for us to sit in Frank Kitts park and be fried whilst watching various dances and music. We spent most of our time watching people dive bombing into the harbour and looking for fish (plentiful), sting rays (one) and eleven-armed star fish (one).

We were glad to get home and relax… but now it’s midnight and sleep I must. School run in the morning and lunch boxes to pack – yippee!