Tuesday, April 13, 2021

What is this?

Hello, what is this blog thing? In my mind I had thought I was keeping this thing updated. But clearly, no. The other day my aunty in the States (Hi, Aunty!) tried to call me to catch up. She couldn't get through as reception was not great on my side, and she ended up texting me. We had not spoken in a while...usually we would be bumping into her and catch up on our travels or she would be down here. I admit I'm terrible with keeping in touch...sorry. I'm not great with actually talking on phones. I'm alright with texts so long as I don't forget to text back. Social media is just horrible these days - go on there to try and keep up with those I'm interested in knowing about what is happening with their lives and I'm bombarded with weird stuff and people pushing some agenda. After a minute of scrolling I'm out of there and need to punch something. Then it occured to me, duh, I used to keep those who were interested in what we were doing updated via this blog. Plus it was a really good way for us to look back and have the photos and what we were up to in one centralised spot. So I'm going to try again to reserect this thing.

Over the Easter break we went up to Mangawhai. We weren't sure how long we were going to go for - just played it by ear and hoped the weather was going to be awesome...and it was!

We were intended to relax and take it easy enjoying whatever was left of the summer. However Jef got motivated and ended up doing heaps of work.

He cleared a whole lot of trees and woody weeds that was in the Totara ngahere. He fixed the big mower and did a whole lot of mowing. Kien also helped out with digging out the dirt where the old stumps where. Between them both the ngahere is looking great.

There's still a fire ban at the moment so we cooked with gas for the weekend. Nice and easy.

Fabulous long weekend away. Every time we pack up and leave I'm always dreaming of the little place we will build up in the clearing and having amenities to enable us be there for however long we want. We've got very flexible working arrangements now, so it would be nice to be able live and work in Mangawhai for an extended period of time.

Pauanui in March

In the last weekend of March we spent the weekend in Pauanui at our friend's bach. We were there last year right before the first lockdown, so it was only fitting we go down again, one year on.

Each morning I'd wake up for the sunrise and walk down to the beach. The difference here I've found, as opposed to being up in Mangawhai, is that there are a few people who go walking on the beach in the mornings as well. Up at the beach close our our place in Mangawhai you'd be surprised to find 1 person at sunrise, unless they are a keen for catching fish.

We were lucky enough to have her brother down there at the same time as us, and he brought his toys. I've definitely fallen in love with jet skiing, and Kien too, I think.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Our weekend in Mangawhai

What a great weekend we had up at the property. We took Kien's friend up with us. The boys were enthusiastic to stay in the tent which was super. They also spent a bit of time in the container playing on the strung up mattress - pretending they were riding on a horse, then it morphed into them during the war and being in a submarine topedoing the Germans. It was really interesting listening to them.

Some pics from the weekend.

We went to the local butcher and got a beautiful little pork roast. So we chucked that on the fire with a carrot and some spuds. Our dinner was fabulous.

The boys had sushi we picked up on the way up. Yes, make life as simple as possible. We all had a great time away. I love it up there.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

At the beach before lockdown

We were at a friend's bach in Pauanui last weekend; the one before the lockdown period. It was really nice to get away from the madness for a little bit. There place backs onto a reserve, and was about 5 minutes walk to the beach. We headed up on Friday night straight after work. I had debated staying longer than the weekend as we had anticipated working from home, but without wifi on the property it meant having to hotspot our phones, and we didn't really know how the situation would have unfolded through days to follow. So we made the sensible decision to come home on Sunday night. It was a great weekend away.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Tramping the Waitawheta tramway

Kien's friend, Natalie, decided that for her 10th birthday party she wanted to go on a weekend tramp with her friends and stay at a hut. So over Waitangi weekend that's what a group of us did.

10km tramp along the Waitawheta tramway, with lots of stops at riverbeds, and many swing bridges. Luckily that Saturday was a little overcast, and we even had a sprinkling of rain, so we all managed to stay relatively cool.

Initially Kien was petrified walking over the swing bridges, but by the end of the weekend he was a pro.

We arrived at the DOC hut in the late afternoon, and the kids ran around playing tag/hide & seek. They also managed to forage a big bowl of blackberries for our breakfast. We were served spaghetti bolognese, which tasted amazing at a hut with no electricity in the middle of a forest.

What was also amazing was that the kids did all the washing up as well! So cute seeing them in the dark with their head torches.

We all turned in relatively early for the night. Jef decided he wanted to brave the wilderness and risk being attacked by mosquitoes and possums.

I didn't get much sleep. In a room full of people rustling around in their sleeping bags it wasn't easy to switch off. Kien also decided he wanted to sleep under the bunk for some reason, and I didn't have the energy to argue with him. Needless to say he changed his mind after midnight, of course!

After breakfast we cleaned the hut up before heading back.

We stopped along the way for a couple more swims.

When we got to the car there were cold beers and a feast waiting for us. This definitely was not their first rodeo. Natalie's parents had a chilli bin packed full of goodies.

This trip was so much fun. Kien is very keen to do some more. We're building up for Tongariro crossing, when he's ready.


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