Thursday, 27 May 2010

Au pair extraordinaire, s'il vous plait

The hunt for an au pair continues apace. We have signed up with an agency who try and match us to someone who will fit into our little family. Rather naively I assumed that they would line up a series of pony tailed, lively, enthusiastic little freshies for us to meet, interview and get to know before they moved into our house. Apparently this is not the case. We can chat on the phone in their home country and if we're lucky we'll be able to see them on skype. A couple of years ago the thought of inviting a strange teenager to live with us for a year would make me slightly nauseous. Now I can't think of anything better.

Our 4.26am start today elongated the latter stages of the day somewhat as well as diminishing my already weakened ability to deliver a tightly administrated 4pm-7pm witching hour. The husband is a legend at diving head first into the fray the minute he walks through the door from work and we are muddling along in a dishevelled fashion but I can't wait to have someone to help. Even more excitingly, I'm hoping that I'll be able to start working again. My grey matter has been swilling around rather aimlessly for some time now. Time to dust of the old brain cells and see if they have any use beyond building planes out of lego.

Monday, 17 May 2010


Every time I walk out of our house and cross the road my eyes are drawn down its length to the beautiful sight of an ancient volcano. He sits sentry at the head of the spit of sand upon which our little town sits. He gazes down over the impressive, enormous, natural harbour on one side and on the other to the Pacific Ocean which stretches so magnificently into the distance I should imagine it makes the volcano feel quite insignificant. I love the sense of perspective one gets from both the volcano and the ocean.

Sunday, 16 May 2010


This morning during breakfast the cacophony reached new heights. The screaming and incessant crying finally pushed the husband to yell over the din "Let's get an au pair." I have taken a break from scouring the world wide web looking for pink cheeked, trustworthy, sunny dispositioned potentials. I thought I might try and articulate the excitement on my blog but I'm not sure there are the words available so I shall merely say this....HURRAH!

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Slamming great ray of sunshine

Over the past week or two I have been feeling increasingly ground down by the antics of my littlies. Twin2 has been crying most for most of her waking hours over the last four weeks. The belligerence from the lad is astonishing. This morning he yelled "I'm in charge" at me as he ate scrambled eggs. The complexity of the night time musical bed routine is impressive. Two nights ago 4am saw me getting up to retrieve a screaming twin1 from her cot. I crept back down the corridor with her to the lad's room where I had been squashed in the corner with twin1 since 1am. At midnight the lad had been scared and wanted to cuddle up to his Daddy in our bed and there started the relocation program.

The following day twin2 excavated the lumpy contents of the toilet (the lad tends not to flush). Leaving bubbling pots and pans on the cooker I thought I'd run a quick head count. The lad and twin1 were watching Peppa Pig in the living room. Nice. Twin2 was armpit deep in the toilet bowl, flicking the water and other more substantial items around the room with a brown flecked toilet brush. The pool of liquid about her feet was seeping into her socks. She smiled as she saw me, dropped the brush and started to raise her hand to put her fingers into her mouth. Not quite as nice.

And then a slamming great ray of sunshine beamed down upon me in the form of a few hours with my daughter. Each Tuesday afternoon, the lad has fun at kindergarten with his chums and the girls take it in turns to go to daycare. This week it was twin 2's turn to potter about with her ma. We took our lunch down to the boardwalk by the beach. As we walked together, we held hands and she smiled with her mouth open in delight as we watched little birds hop across our path and surfers whip their boards across the huge waves. We sat down on a bench underneath a tree and ate vegemite and avocado sandwiches. It was just so perfect. My sweet little girl.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

hunkering down

As it cools down here in New Zealand it is warming up at home in England. In our front garden is the most enormous pile of neatly stacked wood which already has a bit of a dent in it. In the words of the husband's idol Bear Grylls "there is nothing to boost morale better than a fire." Hear, hear.

It has been quite a few weeks since we have had any rain. This weekend I'm hoping for a deluge (to quench our thirsty garden), fish and chips from the Tauranga fish market and to sit inside our cosy living room, fire blazing while we watch films. Hardly the most ambitious way to spend your time but I am craving some time en famille.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Christmas Tree planting in May

Today is my wedding anniversary. Four years ago we stood in the church behind my parents' house and promised to love each other, take care of each other and build a life together until one of us kicks the bucket. The traditional gift for the fourth anniversary is fruit and flowers. Probably one for the girls I should say. I bought the husband a Pohutukawa tree. As it grows it will produce festive looking, bright red, thistle like blooms which come to the fore in December and have earnt it the moniker New Zealand's Christmas Tree. I love the pride of the nation in this ancient looking adornment to many beaches and gardens here and feel excited about watching it grow in the garden of the house my husband lovingly built for his little family as we build our life together, loving and taking care of each other.

Monday, 3 May 2010

No room for political correctness

Last Saturday morning our little family wandered across the road to the park and sports ground and watched our friends' son play rugby. He is 8 years old and rather impressively scored a try whilst managing to bowl a few others over in the committed yet gentlemanly fashion as befits the game. His team played well and beat their opponents convincingly. As the boys ambled off the field, cheeks flushed with victory they grouped together to have a post match debrief. I was so pleased for them and expected the coach (a father) to clap them all on the back and dish out an enthusiastic "Goodness me, aren't you a talented lot! Well done to one and all. Look at what you can achieve when you play so well as a team." Not so it would seem. This is what they got.

"Yeah not bad boys. There's a lot of work to do but luckily we've got all year to do it. See you on Wednesday at 4pm sharp for training."

According to the try scorer's mum this was quite encouraging compared to other weeks. The previous match they had lost and had been told that as they all played so badly there would be no man of the match awarded. In a year and a half the lad will be playing each Saturday. Judging by his current behaviour he will benefit enormously from the rough and tumble of a weekly ruck. During the match he ran off to play with some of his friends. He came back to the throng of parents and I watched him walk round and look up at each mum. When he had located his target he punched me heftily in the thigh as I assume some form of greeting or possibly a show of love and then ambled off.


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