I’ve lost a few of my regular jobs these past few weeks, thanks to my wonderful parents being on deck to keep me sane these long summer holidays in New Zealand. It’s going to be a major shock to the children and I when they return to the UK on 4 February. The bench tops have actually been revealed under all the clutter, the iron has been used for the first time since last summer – when my parents-in-law visited, a new hoover has been purchased and the carpet given a new lease of life, and we’ve been eating so many good meals together round the table as a family (and I’ve had extra hands on deck to clean-up after!).
The girls have had a choice of adults to read stories with, play games, have their hair lovingly brushed and braided.
They’ve enjoyed long bike rides with their Granddad, played late in the surf on the paddle board with their Daddy and Granddad, listened to Grandma play on the piano and sing songs, watched Grandma work magic with water colours and a brush. It really is such a blessing to have their company.
We’ve been on holiday time. Late to bed, late to rise – often all heading off to bed about the same time – long after the sun has set. We’ve been eating a little too plentifully and indulging in New Zealand’s fine wines. There’s been time to sit and have toes buried in sand and watch the children play.
When the weather hasn’t played ball we’ve been swimming, visited Te Papa (the ‘Unveiled’ exhibition is delightful), whiled away three mesmerizing hours at ‘The Carter Observatory‘ in Wellington’s Botanical Garden or simply stayed home and made our own fun.
The wind has taken one of our car doors off its hinge this week, stolen a picture Charlotte had done at Te Papa, whipped Granddad’s glasses off and nearly took Alice off her feet! But sometimes we brave the wind, running head on into it, and let it toy with us in a determined effort to get outside!
Our sheltered garden has given us a calmer outdoor space to go when the wind starts to make us crazy and it is brimming with the life of summer. Monarch butterflies and caterpillars. Sweet peas plentifully flowering and filling my kitchen window-sill vase afresh each morning…
A baby hedgehog visiting for some cat biscuits and a little drink, parched from a dry week of weather, but a little shaken at being blown over and over like bush-weed in the fierce Wellington wind that has visited a few times recently…
I’ve had time to potter in the garden, to lovingly attend to the flowers and vegetables. I’ve enjoyed watching the girls play on the trampoline with Granddad, splash on the water-slide and dance with Grandma in a haze of bubbles.
Dan has returned home from work to a wife with a smile and a little less exhausted than usual 🙂 He’s enjoyed a round of golf with my Dad at the local course and a few good man-to-man conversations over a few beers. He’s especially enjoyed having male company in a house of females!
Lots to love this week!
(Not mentioning having ears blocked with wax and having to make two trips to the doctors, overly energetic children needing to be taken out one evening for a swim with Dan and Granddad – to save Grandma and Mummy’s sanity, seeing a Monarch caterpillar nearly make it into a chrysalis and then disappear – a bird is suspected – and Grandma asking a man in a cafe, ‘Can you tell me where the map shop is? I’ve lost my husband!’ Hee, hee.)