It's Saturday morning and I am back in bed with my second cup of tea after putting the tomato soup on to cook (tomatoes from the neighbours' garden, from ours and from the supermarket) plus getting an orange syrup cake into the oven for afternoon tea at Geoff and Eileen's this arvo, in company with Jenny and Robin of Romany Rambler blog fame.
I got back from Hokitika yesterday arvo - left there in brilliant sunshine, arrived in Christchurch into the teeth of a very cold, wet southerly and then got into Wellington into the same but less chilly and blustery southerly - the landing in Wellington was much smoother than that into Christchurch, and as most NZers will tell you, Wellington has quite hairy landings at times. What I am remembering from previous years of commuting for work is that landing in Wellington from the north is always smoother than from the south, and since I started this Hokitika assignment, until yesterday, all landings had been from the south. It always looks spookier landing from the south too as it's between rocky, hilly, rough terrain and the last part of the approach is over lots of craggy looking rocks; whereas from the north, it's over smooth rounded hills, then across the harbour and between two sets of suburban hills covered with houses (I reckon anyone who lives on Mt Victoria or in Evan's Bay or Maupuia will have hysterics at them being called suburban - let's see, shall we?). And when the southerly is blowing it's more constant than the gusty, swoopy northerly.
So last night we had some new friends around for dinner. They left before 8.30 as they were off for the weekend early today. That left me with enough oomph to get the soup ingredients prepped for cooking this morning - I didn't have enough energy for that 45 minute wait at 9pm!
Today we are heading to buy the tiles for the bathroom and toilet, back home for a nana nap, then off out to afternoon tea, then home, make a salad and head off to neighbours Joy and Grahame's for dinner with other neighbours, John and Jenny. This plot was hatched last Friday night at our place when there were 24 people around for dinner (everyone brought a plate and a bottle, so only a small amount of catering required by me). Fortunately, I made a note about tonight's event on a the notepad on the fridge, because I didn't remember the arrangement at all - must have been too busy with hostessing or something ...
Luke is going to do the tiling for us, and may even bring his chainsaw and top the silver birch which is shading John and Jenny's place, and possibly the magnificent magnolia in Joy and Grahame's garden will get a slight haircut too. Not sure when, but I know I need to be here to limit the carnage that is always a possibility when chaps set to with a chainsaw ... Not knowing when to stop is a bit of a feature, I find!
As you can tell, my weekends are quite crammed at the moment - getting in the being with friends, the DIY (or DI by someone else, as is the case currently), the laundry from the weekdays away and the requisite nana naps quite fills the days.
And the work in Hokitika is progressing well and I am still loving it - the combination of the work, the place and the people makes being away from home quite sustainable.
David and I have also discussed and agreed that we will delay our return to nb Waka Huia until the project is so near to finished that my pointy finger isn't needed any more. The decision about when that point (hah!) is likely to be reached is still two or three weeks away, but we would really like to be able to have the grandsons with us on the boat for the last week or so of their school holidays, so there is a date to aim for.
In the meantime though, it's busy, busy, busy and I am working, boss! And of course, my being away leaves David plenty of time and peace to get his Weaving Memories stuff done. A win all round, me thinks!