December 24, 2015

Three years on and Merry Xmas :)

Xmas Lights at Shands Rd...

Three year ago I put this post on facebook...

I have had the privilege of three women being "mothers" to me in my lifetime. Yesterday I celebrated the birthday here at home of the one I have grown up with and think of as my mother. And even as we celebrated, the phone rang, and I finally spoke to my birth mother for the first time ever. Then last night, the one who I have often referred to in the past as "my other mother", who offered wise advice during some rebellious teenage years, passed away. All a bit surreal.... but makes me appreciate the importance of family and friends, Wishing you all a happy Xmas xx


Facebook brought it back as a memory today... interesting to read it again and think how things have changed in the last three years ...

Yesterday we celebrated my lovely mother's birthday again which is always a special day in the lead up to Xmas.  We thought of Elizabeth...

Yes, I talk to my first mother in England regularly which is lovely. I know so much more about where I come from now and have many photos of my ancestors! Plus I know I have sisters and brothers and nieces and nephews!  And no, I haven't met any of them. Life is complicated and things aren't always straightforward.  But its ok..... and although I cant post any pictures of them publicly, I can see them and I am glad I searched and filled the hole in my past.

Meanwhile my brother Alistair has been over from Vancouver  for a holiday and we have been able to catch up... distance makes it hard but we do our best! We celebrated Dad's birthday while he was here... he will be 90 next month so had to make the most of us all being here together.

Today I am looking forward to a lovely long Xmas weekend filled with family and friends here in Christchurch and thinking of everyone overseas that I can't be with.

Wishing you all a Merry Xmas xx

Here are a few pics from our recent ( early)  birthday celebrations for Dad. We will do it all again in January!
The bearded bloke is my nephew Blair and his lovely girlfriend Katie also joined us...




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November 28, 2015

Farewells and Celebrations

What a perfect month it has been.  I love living by the river and enjoying the birds... there are babies everywhere. 


The white wisteria is out and the garden is filled with colour...



Its been a month for Birthdays...

I got to spend mine enjoying a long weekend and a Friday off work celebrating with the family. 




and then my friends took me out for a fabulous dinner. Westerley and Susan on the left, Beth with me. It was so good we went back again last week....


and last weekend, Jaz returned from a drink out with Mark on Saturday to find the girls had decorated the house and there were flowers, presents and friends waiting.  There is no way Jaz was turning 40 without some sort of celebration! The girls and Mark did a wonderful job and she was dumbstruck... 


 And as it is also their 15th wedding anniversary this week, Mark arranged for an eternity ring ... it's beautiful.


and many thanks to Graham for sending these wonderful flowers. He has been a great friend and supporter for the last few years to both Jaz and I.  

GB writes a number of blogs - and although he is not able to return to NZ at the moment, we still enjoy his posts from Scotland. Thankful Thursdays particularly! 


It was a perfect, fun, sunny evening...  xxxx



There were some farewells in some of the celebrations.  We had award dinners and a lunch for the last three classes with us this term.  So proud of what they have achieved but polytech seems very empty with them gone. My full time class - a lovely bunch :)  Im happy some are returning next year to do their diploma.


and they gave us beautiful flowers.. which I am still enjoying every day!


The part time class did dinner at Lone Star... my first visit since it reopened after the quakes.   Looking forward to them returning for year 2 next year....



and our Animal Management class opted for a picnic lunch at The Groynes, with all our dogs. It was a hot sunny day and we were glad of some shade and access to the river.   


Note the Rainbow Tail! 
Poppy was in heaven....



Its Xmas in the Park tonight - so  we are off to battle the crowds.

Tomorrow my brother is arriving from Vancouver, so its going to be a very hectic fortnight but it will be great to see him.

xxx







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November 8, 2015

November already!

Shocked how fast this year has gone... but it has been such a busy few months I guess it is not surprising. Work hard, play hard philosophy keeps me on the go, but balancing it with quiet times has made all the difference to adding contentment.

Lunch with friends - at a gorgeous house overlooking the estuary...


and been watching a little rugby lately... the 4 am semi final game was a killer. Cooked breakfast and front row seats at the big screen at the casino helped, although the tension was almost more than we could bear.  We went back there for the 5 am final game and it was pure pleasure... we cracked the bubbles after a fantastic breakfast - and then went home to catch up on some sleep.
There were 10 players from our local Crusaders team in the All Black squad - so we are a very happy region.. and of course  Dan Carter got the World Rugby Player of the Year award and Richie McCaw collected the award for World Rugby Team of the Year on behalf of the All Blacks.

We will miss these two very much. Dan is off to France and Richie will possibly retire... he hasn't decided. 





I didn't get to the parade - but congratulations to them all. http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/73705191/live-christchurch-welcomes-all-blacks-home

Last week we had the annual student trip to Peacock Springs  http://www.isaacconservation.org.nz/conservation/peacock-springs/
Just search my blog for pervious posts on our trips - always a lovely day. I loved the beautiful female NZ gecko from Northland.
You can read more at this link and see better pictures- including her red tongue that I couldn't capture...
http://www.nhc.net.nz/index/lizards-new-zealand/Northland-green-gecko/northland-green-gecko.htm




The view down the lake - there are swans nesting next to it. So peaceful...


Went to the fireworks at the pier for Guy Fawkes.. we wined and dined at the restaurant Salt on the Pier and watched the fireworks from there.. a decadent and fun evening, and warm and cosy, sheltered from the cold wind... I took this picture as we waited for the show to start - set to the music of Back to the Future.


Kirsty watched them from up on the hills.. lovely view of the city by night. 





and yes - I would like the sale of fireworks to the public banned - we can plan for one night of preparing the animals, shutting up stock, but it is annoying that the damage and fires and fears have to go on for so many weeks.


On Friday I met Jaz and Mark at the food trucks -we tried the spring potatoes. Loved them...


The girls checked out the furniture...




Went to a lovely welcome to summer barbecue last night after a hot sunny day, and wound up the evening at a 21st - congratulations Nicole, it has been a pleasure to watch you grow up xxxx

and now its the countdown to my birthday - at least I will get the day off as it is Show Day here. And yes, its another Friday the 13th birthday...
:)

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