Family Kiwidutch visited New Zealand in December 2011 - January 2012.
You are joining me as I leaf through the jottings in my journal and sort my photographs that recorded our adventures.
December 2011 has been and gone, it’s now the New Year and we are staying with one of my oldest friends and her four daughters aged four to fourteen.
My friend lost her husband earlier in 2011 to cancer and the adjustment to life without the familiar husband and daddy presence in the house has been understandably hard.
Everyone has been dealing with their grief at different times and in different ways and it’s still early days as poignant dates like birthdays and anniversaries come around and the day to day reality of raising four children alone kicks in.
Small things are often the most frustrating… like attempting to do all the small DIY chores that he used to take care of, not finding all of the tool parts necessary for some gadgets and the learning curve of having to teach yourself to use others.
My friend’s family are for a large part based back in Christchurch and she has a business to run, and whilst family do what they can to help when they visit, of course their own families and jobs need attending to, so it’s hard to keep on top of things once they are gone and she is here alone.
Himself loves to help and quickly seizes on a list of household chores that he can take care of, happily digging around in boxes of tool bits to find bits he can use and getting to work on the list.
There’s a sense of satisfaction that we can also spend out time helping do a few practical things during our stay, and with the help of her three older girls and Kiwi Daughter as sous-chefs, I get enjoy some meal planning and preparation so that my friend can catch up on some work related things that are urgent but have taken a back seat to family events of late.
I teach the girls some new meal recipes and we experiment with desserts, and the four girls enjoy working together on something new and yummy that we can indulge in later. The weather hasn’t been great over the New Year, it’s definitely warm enough… just the rain showers just keep coming.
Then we hear that the weather is due to improve so we decide to pile everyone in our van (Yeah for a nine seater!!!) and go sightseeing around the Bay of Islands area and to have a picnic at Piahia. Our first stop was of course the small town of Kawakawa but now we are heading further north still…
Let’s have a small look around this area of Northland…