Sunday, July 23, 2017

Return to Paradise

Highlights of our Samoan vacation - well, everything was a highlight as far as I'm concerned; going back to the wonderful Return to Paradise resort where we stayed last year, having lots of friends with their families with us, making friends and having fun with the resort staff, snorkelling in the clear turquoise reef just a few meters from our room, cooling off in one of the 4 pools, getting warm in the spa after spending too much time in the pool, walking back and forth barefoot in the soft sand between the villas, giant clams, unexpectedly swimming with a turtle, stopping at roadside stores for Vailimas, catching a ride in the back of a truck with the resort staff to see Manu Samoa vs Flying Fijians rugby match...the list goes on and on. I haven't even mentioned the fact that I travelled back to Auckland in the cockpit watching the Captain and First Officer doing their thing while another pilot explained what was happening. Now that was fun.

I've got squillians of photos which will take some time to sort through (no doubt), but while it's all fresh in my mind I'll post what I can.

We came in on Saturday afternoon with 9 whole days stretched out in front of us. Kien was so excited that he was now on school holidays. Jef and I were so excited we were not working. It's been a tough year with so much going on, so this was a welcome break.

I love it here at this beautiful beach in Matautu. When the wind blows the sea is rough and wild, but at other times its so calm and clear. The snorkelling is pretty amazing out there.

We spent a lot of time in the pool. There are four of them here, and depending on the temperature and position of the sun was the decision for which pool to swim in.

We played pool, caught a shuttle to Apia, found hermit crabs, and generally just walked back and forth on the white sand between our beachfront room and the main villa that our friends were staying in.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Finally I went for a run again

Oh boy, I'm been entrenched in a relentless project that we didn't think would ever finish...but it did! We went live on Wednesday with all fingers and toes crossed, and hark, it was smooth - no catastrophic failures! We worked the previous weekend to make sure we had covered as many scenarios as possible, and even on Tuesday we were pretty nervous. But yes, its all gone well. Phew. So I went for a run, which I've not been able to do for some time now because of all the lunchtime meetings I've had to attend. It feels nice to be out there again...tiring, but nice.

On Friday I started really early, and by 10:30 I was itching to get outside. The fog was starting to lift out on the water, and it was a perfect morning for a run.

School holidays start at the end of this week, and we're off to Samoa. I've been looking forward to this break for quite a while. It couldn't come soon enough, although it's a bit stressful because I've now moved on to another project, and it will be very demanding when we get back. Ah well, one day at a time. In the meantime I can't wait to be warm and spotting clown fish while snorkelling.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A quick trip to the capital

Last month we went to Wellington for a quick weekend getaway. A colleague/friend was taking her kids there via train, and since Kien is good friends with those kids I thought it would be great to meet them there. I was not however going to spend an entire day on a train - been there, done that in Vietnam, got well and truly impatient, so no thanks, I'll fly! Plus, breakfast (and lunch combined) in the Koru lounge, yes please!

We stayed at the Copthorne on Oriental Bay. We've never stayed down this side before - we've always been more centrally located, so it made for a nice change.

We happened to have been there through a cold snap, and oh boy was it cold and windy. We did a fair bit of walking which kind of helped a bit.

Satnam and the kids finally arrived on Saturday evening, and we walked across town for some dinner at a little Vietnamese restaurant. There was a light festival happening that weekend (which we were not aware of) but it was good to be able to catch some of it on our walk home from dinner.

Sunday morning we visited Te Papa. Gallipoli: The scale of our war exhibition is still running. The last time we were here it was so crowded that we didn't want to queue for hours to see it, but this time, since we got there so early we were able to go through. If there is an exhibition that is worth coming to Wellington for then this one is it. It is truly spectacular with the giant models that look so realistic (and huge).

We all loved it.

We then took the cable car to the top of the hill - how novel.

A run around the playground for the kids to burn off some steam and then we took the cable car back to the bottom again (because we purchased return tickets).

Then a walk back around the waterfront for beers and ice-creams before heading back to the airport.

That's it. Another weekend over. They go so very fast, don't they?!?

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Somewhere wild with my wildling

That's about the size of it...the boy that made me a mother is a wild child and is giving me a run for my money. He's dirty and smelly with his bare foot ways and unkempt hair, a face always marked with berry juice and clothes I'd be embarrassed to donate even without the holes. Yes. That boy. He calls for me every morning. "Mummy" is the first word he utters. The next are usually "I love you, can I have the iPad?". Yes, this is my life with the Kien. So when Jef asked me what I wanted to do on Sunday for Mother's Day all I knew was that I wanted to be somewhere wild with my wildling.

We decided to go to Mangawhai to see how the driveway was getting on at the property. After that we went to Te Arai Point. What a fabulous beach! Especially if you walk around the rocks for a while and discover a secluded bay that no one has ventured to on that day. Our footsteps were the first to mark the shelly sand on that beach.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The good and the ugly

We've been home for a couple of weeks now and everything feels like it's in disarray. We're in the midst of kitchen renovations which, as exciting as it is to be cooking outside in the carport with the tail of Debbie lashing us, I'm quite over "camping". Of course I get back to work and it's not exactly a walk in the park either, and I normally try to escape my desk in the middle of the day for a lunchtime run, but my body is still spent from the marathon and I certainly feel it my knees when I'm jogging. So it's pretty frustrating to have to wait for recovery. But anyway, enough of my complaining. I can't wait to get our house back; no more builders, painters, plumbers, electricians, tilers. They are a great crew though - the same ones we had to renovate our bathroom, so it feels all too familiar. We're almost there; tiler and plumber in today, electrician again at some point to wire up the remaining lighting and switches, painters to come through again, and I think that's about it. This is what our kitchen looks like this morning.

But this is what it looked like last week...

Big difference, huh? When we got back from LA we will had bare concrete walls! So we've come a very long way. Only a couple more days to go and *hopefully* I'll be cooking on the induction stove by Thursday night. I can't wait!

Over the weekend I took Kien to Extreme Edge Indoor Climbing. He went there for a birthday party once and he's been asking to go all last week. This particular place in Panmure is great. It's very big and has many walls.

On Sunday Kien rode his new bike to the park. He's still growing into the bike but it fits him better than his little one now.

If you saw Kien's blog you would have read that we saw the bees. They are back! We've missed them. The hives were taken away in 2015 but now it looks like there is a campaign to make AKL the most liveable place for bees.

I'm so looking forward to an extra long weekend!

My weekend



Monday, April 3, 2017

In the weekend...



Kien wrote his story with his dad in bed last night and texted it to me.

I look at these pics below and see the future flash before my eyes!


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