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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

It’s 2014!  2014!!  Holy Heck, where does the time go?  2014!!!

We are just at the tail end of our fifth kiwi christmas and quite acclimitised to the warmth and food traditions.

This year we made gravadlax (cured Salmon) and glazed  a giant ham.  I’m not sure how big the pig monster was that donated his limb to us, but he was a super tasty pig and we very much got huge value out of his sacrifice.

Christmas Day was lovely.  We did the usual family present opening in the morning then had some fab friends round from lunch onwards.  Lunch (the meal) lasted around four hours as we sat at the table and picked our way through the variety of stuff we’d put on the table.

In the evening we played games as one big group, Lucy included.  It was really quite lovely to have everyone contributing.  Around 9pm Lucy broke, so we wrapped her up in a duvet and sent her off to Bedfordshire.

Although it’s a bit weird, I’m really happy with how we tackled this Christmas because the waste and recycling piles were so small.  We’d really managed to keep the usual excess under control (except in the kitchen – but we did eat it all).  That made me happy.

After a few days at home we decided on a completely last minute camping trip down to Hawkes Bay, staying in Hastings, which is right by Napier.  we had an amazing time with some lovely people we’d not been away with before.

The girls enjoyed having new people to play with – especially a boy!  The dynamics of Lucy and Indy (both 5 ) and Emily worked beautifully.  Em stepped up to the big sister role and seemed more grown up than ever.

We did loads of great stuff.  We visited the National aquarium in Napier, vintage  clothes shops, looked at the Art Deco buildings, had the odd bite to eat here and there.  We went to the harbour area and hired kayaks and a stand up paddle board and had a windy but enjoyable water based adventure for a couple of hours.  Time spent chilling in the pool and back at the camp.  We also went to an amazing little Farmyard Zoo near hastings.  A really small operation, but beautifully run and such amazing value.  We spent the whole afternoon there and the kids all had their first rides on ponies.  So much excitement.  The only thing that would have impressed Lucy more was if hers had a corn on it’s head!

Overall it was just a fantastic break and we headed back on Friday 3rd.  Stopping in on the way at our friends small holding in Pukakohe where we saw a very newly born litter of piglets.  It was such an amazing place and so inspiring to talk to the owner that we rushed home and started planning chickens and bees etc.

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The great photo-editing bonanza continues.  This time a couple of outings over Christmas.  Firstly to Onepoto Reserve, a park we’ve mentioned before that has an excellent cycle track all laid out like a mini road system.  the second location is North Head down at Devonport.  A lovely place for a family walk, hills, tunnels, views, guns and history.

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My most fabulous wife got so fed-up with me huffing and puffing about not having a computer that she bought me a Mac Mini to replace it.  So I just set it all up last night properly having borrowed a monitor and went photo crazy!  I was up until after midnight getting reacquainted with my Bamboo Touchpad and ripped through our backlog of photos.

So here’s the first batch – in no sensible order I’m afraid.

These were from one of the rare nice weather days we had when Rob and Nat arrived at Christmas.  We headed up to our favourite beach Tawharanui.  Rob took his surf board and Emily had a new (pink) body board to play with.  Father Christmas had also bough Rob and Nat some water guns which stayed hidden for a while…

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Santa Parade

We’ve decided that Santa Parade is one of our most favourite things to do here.  For the uninitiated, Farmers is a big department store here and every year they sponsor a huge parade of floats and marching and giant inflatables through the middle of Auckland.  Families line the route, the sensible ones (including us this year, haha ) have their own camping chairs.

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