Thursday, December 31, 2015

Good bye Auckland city, hello Hauraki Gulf

Finally we set sail. It's been way too long since we were last in the Hauraki Gulf anchored up somewhere. It's been one very busy year indeed and finding the time to use the boat has been difficult. But once we have set sail it feels so wonderful and you make all these promises to yourself that you'll try harder to make this happen more often. On Monday 28th we left our Westhaven slip and said good bye to Auckland central as we sailed off.

We haven't been out much this year on the boat, mainly because Kien gets rather sick if it's too bumpy. But now that he's big enough we get to try sea sickness medications for him. I got him some Sea Legs as well as some homeopathic lollipops. They seem to have done the trick!

We anchored at Motuihe for the night. This island is always a nice stop that's relatively close and easy to get to.

Ducks almost always come to visit us when we are anchored here. I came prepared with stale bread at the ready.

He loves feeding the ducks.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas this year

Working right up until Christmas Day ain't fun, and lots of people in my office did it this year, including moi. I took Kien in as a treat (for whom I'm not entirely sure).

On Christmas morning Kien woke up and for some reason thought Santa was coming that night. He wasn't even interested in looking downstairs for presents. We had to prompt him. Once he saw the pile though it was all on.

Show us some teeth, will ya? Ah, that's better.

We want to my dad's for lunch - a typical Vietnamese feast of baked fish which we had in fresh summer rolls with herbs and dipping sauce. After lunch we celebrated an early birthday for Kien which we do every year since dad used to only have 1 day a year off from working, and that's on Christmas day.

Then it was off to Grandma Gun's and Rod's place in the late afternoon. Good to see second cousins getting along so well after not seeing each other for a while.

Thomas is a big boy now and will be off to school next year. I love his long locks.

That wraps up another Christmas. It seemed more rushed this year than previously. But then again I think this year seems like a rush!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

In the garden

It's past spring, but not yet consistently warm enough to call it summer in my mind. It doesn't matter; the chill is definitely out of the air, the days are much longer, the smell of BBQs are all around the neighbourhood, and the garden is in full production! I've got seedlings on the window sill, and finally the winter crop are looking the way they are supposed to look. I've been a busy bee out there in the back, and Jef has been equally busy in the front - but in a more technical capacity. So here's what the garden looks like in December 2015.

My red cabbages have finally formed into more than just random leaves. I've also been harvesting celery and love it in practically anything that lends itself to having that radishy spicy flavour permeating through.

My other winter vegetables also look the way they are supposed to - broccoli that has a head and not just leaves, brussel sprouts with actually nodules sprouting out from the stem, and carrots that don't look anaemic.

The silverbeet are sweet and tender, and the garlic companioning with my herbs are making me look like I'm a pro at this gardening thing.

As for my summer produce - they are just beautiful.

Speaking of beautiful, I decided to do some potted colour this year, and planted them with my lavender. My pots are so pretty and make me smile every time I look outside.

Then there's the window sill. I've seeded bok choy, cos lettuce, coriander, more carrots, and the kumara is ready to be chopped and planted this weekend.

Auckland in the summertime is fabulous! I can't wait to try my hand at foraging.


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