January 19, 2015

Summer and Paradise in Nelson

Back from a glorious few days with my friends Libby and Davy in Nelson.  Nothing like getting away from responsibilities, decisions, obligations and chores and replacing them with some fun and laughs.

Books, movies, sunny days in the garden and gazebo....

Great food and wine... Lunch at The Playhouse one day and later Fossil Ridge.

Nelson market, plus more shopping, shopping, shopping....  Enjoying the music from "evolving rhythms.com" at the market. 

Visiting Eyebright to shop and see the guinea pig village... 

And at Jellyfish Cafe on Mapua wharf where the coffee was strong and the muffins were fresh berries with a hint of stuff inbetween...the best I have ever tasted. 

Home to a blustery hot nor' wester and a faithful companion at my feet who was very pleased to find me at the airport....

Recharged and feeling ready for a new term... Or at least as much as I can be.

Thank you so much again Libby and Davy :)  
And thanks to the family for such a tidy house to come home to.  
Big hug to you all xx

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January 1, 2015

Been a while

It's been a glorious, busy month...and now a brand New Year has begun..

There have been lots of things to do with the students, interviewing new ones and getting results out as the programmes finish.. and of course celebrations, awards and a cosy present for Poppy -

There were birthdays - Jaz in November and Molly had a sleepover when she turned 10 and we had everyone for dinner just before Xmas to celebrate Mum's just over a week ago.

I got to enjoy three Christmas celebrations....
The first had 17 of us at Mum and Dads - friends and travellers from many parts of the world. A fantastic day :)

Poppy and I spent Boxing day with Jaz, Mark, Phoebe, Molly, Caitlin and Rosie sporting designer eyebrows! Turkey and pavlova and yums....

 We played Cleudo -

and finally a lovely dinner with Jo, Nick, Holly, Leighton and Luka and their three new kittens!

and all along, plenty of time to appreciate the flowers Alex has created in the garden, work on the house, explore the the lake and hang out with friends.

Pretty cool.

I hope your Xmas was as fun -
It's been an interesting year, much better than 2013! I look forward to whatever 2015 brings and wish you all good health and happiness.

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December 16, 2014

Thank you Christchurch

SCIRT (Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team) is rebuilding the city's earthquake damaged roads, fresh water, wastewater and storm water networks.

Some of the workers celebrated the halfway point of Christchurch's horizontal infrastructure rebuild with a song and dance...
This is great news - and when you watch it, think about the background to the scenes as they are a great indication of the reality of life in Christchurch - rubble, concrete, demolition and rebuild all happening.  Once the underground work is finished, the top level work can be done!

For more information on the process you can visit http://strongerchristchurch.govt.nz/
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November 27, 2014

The Last Goodbye - Memory Lane for Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit

For those of us who love the movies..

As we wait for the final movie of The Hobbit Trilogy to be released, the end credit music has been released. Sung by Billy Boyd, aka Peregrine Took....

A wonderful trip down memory lane.
And a tribute to Peter Jackson and his team.

It is incredible how many years New Zealand has been involved in the making of these movies - and how many people here have been involved in their creation. Not to mention the numbers of people who visit here to see the places it was filmed....

Made me quite tearful....

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November 15, 2014

Birthday Mindfulness

I have had a fabulous birthday.
In fact it has been a really great week.
There have been so many wonderful moments with students and other friends and being surrounded by family tonight was a final highlight.
Thank you to all of you who wrote on facebook, sent me flowers, gave me presents and joined me celebrating.  It was all very much appreciated.
There is something special about finding contentment and feeling peaceful.
I guess you can only really begin to understand it when you have had something to compare it to.

This week I explored our Tuatara friends at Peacock Springs with the vet nursing students.

I hope you can see more pictures from many years of visits at this link....

It truly is a magical and beautiful place. 

We had two award ceremonies for our classes of students that are finishing. The second one was at Alva Rados Mexican Cantina.... 

and they gave us lovely things ( the bottle Sam Neill's Two Paddocks Pinot Noir was pretty awesome to get too ) 

Flowers from the night class on Monday night

and the vet nurses gave Poppy a brand new bed for use at work.....so she doesn't have to lie on a scrappy blanket in class time. She loved it.... but I think she thought it might really be for the cats!  

I admired the mural visible from outside Venuti's Italian restaurant in Colombo St.

We shared lovely things at work on my birthday - thx Jules for the chocolate truffle cake and Tina for the lovely mud cake. :)

Today I walked the dogs along the lake and enjoyed the sunshine before heading over to celebrate for the evening. It was warm and sunny - bliss.

The family gathered  at my parent's house tonight with lovely presents and champagne. It was truly a privilege to have them all there.  I am never sure each year if all four will make it, between their travels and other commitments, so I savoured the pleasure of it. I am sure there are photos of the night, but I don't have them yet....but I did get one of the beautiful cake that Alex secretly made yesterday and surrounded with sweet peas from our garden....  delicious :)

Tonight my mother rang from England and we had a lovely chat. It's our second birthday together since I found her...

GB, who has been a great support to us over the years through Jaz's surgery and recovery, plus all the other not so pleasant events since,  has to stay in the UK for the whole Scottish winter this year, rather than his usual summer migration to New Zealand, so we were chatting on facebook. He asked me this week how I was.  I was able to honestly say I was happy and contented.
A year older.. much wiser and much happier.
Living for the moment.
And loving it.

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