Into the School Groove

Term time routines are all go here. The girls even have a dedicated calendar in the kitchen reminding us when their school library days are, what days they need to have trainers for cross country running, when guitar lesson day is for Charlotte and piano lesson day for Sophie (both new hobbies this term for the girls!), when there are school trips (they have four this term!), when they have play-dates, after school hobbies (drama and dancing for Charlotte), when ‘wheels’ day is each week, so they can take their scooters… you get the idea! We are busy, busy, busy!

In the six hours that Charlotte & Sophie are at school I mostly entertain Alice, do a bit of housework (whilst she picks up random objects and puts them in even more random new homes), drink lots of coffee, nap when possible (Alice is still in bed with me and breastfed throughout the night) and, and, and… prepare for the 3pm school pick up when a platter of afternoon tea is prepared and quickly consumed by Charlotte and Sophie, homework is carefully presided over, friends entertained, dinner arranged, school bags unpacked, and, and, and…

Okay, I’ve had enough of writing about it all, but surprisingly I feel busier in school term time than in the holidays! Crazy!

Weekend fun at Lyall Bay

The good news is that everyone is happy (aside from the expected sibling bickering from time to time – which Mummy mediator tries her best to peacefully sort out – but this week I have a stinking cold, not slept much and am struggling a little).

Sophie is LOVING school (though over-excitedely so and is tough work to wind down at the end of the day – she just keeps on going and going!).

Sophie happy school girl

Charlotte seems to be settling into her new class (of 31 Year 4/5 children!) really well (hoping that continues!). She is establishing good friendships and really beginning to get into her groove. She’s enjoying learning, loves art, playing games and reading the most. She’s a little tense at times, but usually we get to the root of it eventually.

Charlotte looking at the school butterfly garden

The other good news is we’ve had fabulous weather here on Welly’s South Coast so there’s been a lot of fun at the beach…

Beach fun

With Alice getting stuck in and is very much our wanna be boogie boarder in the making.  She is also quickly learning the art of sand-art (and destruction) from her big sisters.

Fun on the coast

This weekend we had lovely friends of the girls to stay (a brother and sister – similar ages and go to the same school) and it was so lovely to see them all getting on so well and having fun (though it was tiring for us running on half empty with colds). Alice loves being ‘one of the gang’! I grew up enjoying lots of memorable weekends like this, having so many fabulous cousins in the UK, and I sometimes feel sorry for the girls missing out. This was the first time I’ve really seen them enjoying the feeling of closeness that comes with having good friends and welcoming them into our home.

Friends to stay

With all this activity (and fighting a cold) I have been enjoying a much needed morning coffee at my fav Lyall Bay cafes with Alice…

Coffee with Alice at Diamond Deli

We are so fortunate to live in such a caring, open and friendly neighbourhood.  I can pop down to the local cafe, as though it was the local country pub in England, and bump into several faces I know. Strangers say hello to each other and strike up conversations with ease. But of course all this fun, this week, has been tinged with heavy hearts as we think of the people of Christchurch. Conversations have started with, ‘Do you have friends and family in Christchurch?’. Everyone is thinking of the people there and sending our love. We are all in utter shock.

We’ve been packing up boxes of baby clothes (sad that it’s taken an earthquake to make me part with them – I really couldn’t have done it otherwise) and are expecting a good family friend this Wednesday, who escaped the CBD unharmed but is in need of a few peaceful night’s sleep (the aftershocks are continuing relentlessly).

We are so relieved that our friends in Christchurch are all okay, though a few had narrow escapes and life will not be easy for some time. We can only hope that the people of Christchurch, with the support of New Zealand and the world, will find the strength and courage to move on, rebuild and, eventually, feel proud and safe to live in their homes.

Here in Wellington, we know all too well it could be us next and we live with that knowledge always in the back of our minds. In the meantime, we open our city to our friends of Christchurch and hope they can come, rest and revive.

Lyall Bay