This weekend we have Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to thank for an extra day to our weekend. Though her actual Birthday is on 21 April, it has long been customary to celebrate the Sovereign’s birthday on a day during the summer (unfortunately winter in New Zealand). Since 1805, the Sovereign’s ‘official’ birthday has been marked by the ‘Trooping the Colour’ ceremony, normally held on the second Saturday in June. So, here we are, in the midst of our Winter (1 June is the official first day of Winter – though we’ve had an early, dramatic, cold snap in May!) and who are we to turn down an extra day?! It has been a wonderful weekend, despite the hail, sleet and snow in downtown Wellington.

We have really been enjoying indoor antics – with the occasional sprint outdoors to collect hail and laugh at the craziness of it all…

A couple of awesome friends came round for afternoon tea today and all we had to do was put the kettle on; as they came loaded with a home made chocolate cake and nibbles galore. The girls had a blast and Sophie dressed up specially for the occasion. Apparently I missed the wedding of Dan and Sophie as I was out lane swimming, but there had been dancing and plenty of Cinderella moments (I was told to address Sophie as ‘Cinderella’). I turned up in time for the cutting of the wedding cake (truly scrumptious and just what I needed after a forty minute swim session).

We have had another couple of real reasons for celebration this week. Sophie announced she was ready to try out a new Kindi and ‘commit’. We were lucky to have a glorious day of sunshine on Friday for our first visit and… she loved it! The teachers got down on her level and really listened to who she was and understood her personality. The atmosphere was calm, welcoming and full of activities. Indoor/outdoor play was freely flowing. There was no compulsory ‘mat time’, simply an opportunity for young three year olds to enjoy a two hour session with their peers, gaining confidence and independence. There were impromptu music sessions – again it was up to the child to decide whether or not to partake. Sophie jumped in with full gusto and enthusiasm and repeatedly told me she loves the Kindi. So…. this week we shall see. Four day’s a week, from 1.15pm to 3.15pm. Finger’s crossed her first impression was the right one – I certainly have a very good feeling!

Prior to her visit to Kindi we made the most of the sunshine and played on the South Coast, exploring the rock-pools, walking in the sand and frolicking at the playground. Island Bay is a fabulous suburb of Wellington and home to so many artists – it’s easy to see why. The ever changing weather wrestles with the artist in even the most cynical. It cannot fail to inspire.

Our second reason for celebrating was our 10th Wedding Anniversary (that is Dan and I – not Sophie and Dan!!!). We went out for a wonderful dine and dance. We love a restaurant with a bit of personality and ‘Monsoon Poon‘ never fails to deliver (if it’s good enough for David Beckham then it’s good enough for us!). We savoured the most exotic tastes whilst trying our hardest to keep our bottoms firmly on our seats. The ‘Bolly-wood’ music had us rocking at our table and in the mood for dancing. We followed up the dining with a dance at ‘Boogie Wonderland‘. The music took us on a trip down memory lane… all the way back to our Uni. days where we first met in our late teens! It was one of the best nights we have had in ages! We danced ourselves into a frenzy – to the point of needing a few ice-cubes to cool us down! And we returned home to our youngest daughter happily asleep on a camp bed in the lounge! We talked around her with our wonderful baby-sitter (oops – girls will tell me off – I must say ‘child sitter’!) and it couldn’t have been a more perfect ending to a fabulous evening.

In between the celebrations the simplicity of life has us happily ticking along in our little corner of the world. Charli and Dan have a wonderful bond going on at the moment – since they both share a passion for science fiction and top-trumps with a dinosaur, Star Wars or Ben 10 twist! Charli’s also into ‘Bakugans‘, which are action-figure warriors, that are tucked into spheres that pop open when they’re rolled onto a game card- beyond me… I leave that to the pair of them! Sophie prefers to get around on wheels rather than normal shoes and is heavily into building with blocks and lego. She also likes Princess stories (but we have to do read them out of earshot of Charli). And with the wintry weather forcing us indoors we have all got into baking with daily sessions of covering ourselves and the entire kitchen in buckets of flour. And when the weather does let up we head outdoors faster than lightening to burn off steam (erm, calories for moi!) and kick a ball around!