Thursday, 28 December 2017

Fun family festivities in the sun

We had a lovely few days in Opunake with Kirsty, Time, Olek, Karol and Dana.

Plenty of beach time, plenty of sunshine, plenty of good food and wine, lovely family company.

We did have some rain and some wind a couple of nights but it was fine during the days - so my weather request was granted.

It was the boys' first xmas that wasn't Polish; i.e. presents were done on xmas day instead of xmas eve, only the presents in the stocking were from Santa and presents under the tree were from named givers rather than the Polish way of all being from Santa. (David, Kirsty and I have never coped well with the un-named giving of presents, after a lifetime of measured gift giving and receiving with personal appreciation expressed...)

So Karol (nearly 8) was very happy to know there would be presents for him from Santa at the bottom of his bed in the morning, and his pleasure was there to see with bits of paper strewn all over the place ... Olek who is nearly 13 played along very well, as a big brother should ;-)

Presents under the tree were opened after brekkie and it was lovely.
The tree came from Tim's friend Warren's farm, the bucket it sits in came for free from The Bin Inn in Waitara, decorations courtesy of Kirsty and Dana, lights untangled and arranged by Tim

David trying out the selfie stick he bought for me ...
Dana is the selfie queen and gave David required tuition. She is wearing a beanie I got for her at Paraparaumu Market

Mmm, not a present I would have bought but Karol loved it and spent ages target shooting on the 40 foot container outside.

Games, books, construction and orange hibiscus marmalade.

No men or kids around, the roast pork is cooking and it was time for Dana and Kirsty to catch up with friends on social media. Plenty of cheese and crackers, fizzy wine and orange juice too ... It was too hot to be outside, so we took cover in the garage.

Tim and David took the boys down to the beach for swimming, sandcastles, tunnelling, body boarding while Dana and I got xmas dinner sorted, almost all of which (apart from the roast potatoes and kumara, and the corned beef previously cooked in the motorhome, was cooked on the BBQ):
  • pork leg roast
  • stuffed capsicums
  • stuffed mushrooms
  • marinated salmon
I prepared a green salad but the plates were too small to accommodate it ...

Now this is a first! All of us together for xmas day! You can see the untouched salad ...
On boxing day Kirsty, Dana and I took the boys to the beach (it's a 10 minute walk). The aunty swam with Olek while Dana and I sat near Karol as he played in the wonderful black sand.
I think they are discussing how cold it is

But they are brave

Steady progress into the water - no screaming and no hesitation - Kirsty said later it was fine once they were in and they did stay in for about half an hour.

Coming back from the beach
Look at the colour of that water!

The afternoon was relaxed in the sunshine with the kids (big and small) playing on the container ...
Olek and Kirsty up high where I can't and won't reach them ...

Games in the park in the evening - I was already in bed when this photo was taken ...

Kirsty had a wedding to attend in Wellington on 28th so we left on 27th. A stop at Viv's Kitchen in Sanson for lunch.

If you read Jenny and Robin Benton's Romany Rambler blog, you will have seen her mentions of Viv's Kitchen's cream horns. They are magnificent! Kirsty bought one and brought it home, then left it in our fridge. Don't worry, Kirsty, we helped you out - it has been devoured!

Then once we got home, we gave Kirsty the presents we had intended for her 40th birthday but didn't have all the photos for on the boat.
Two volumes of Kirsty - a life in pictures. If you are interested in making photo books they are good and easy to use, plus far cheaper than you'd expect. Of course it is extremely time consuming and requires patience and attention to detail that are not my usual mode of operating ... Check them out at

Dinner was Donna Hay's Thai Green Chicken Curry and we had Bruce and Gary, Nigel and Paul here to help celebrate. I was put to bed at 8.30pm as I was falling asleep and the others left a couple of hours later. In the morning it was brekkie at Bruce and Gary's place and then Paul and Nigel delivered Kirsty into the city. I came back home to bed ....

We have done several loads of washing and are now girding our loins for our next venture away in the motorhome.

By the way, I think we are coming to a consensus that it may be being named Mote, as
  • it's short for motorhome (I think it properly and grammatically should be mot'e but Kirsty and David disagree)
  • David keeps referring to it as the boat, so mote at least rhymes
  • he doesn't like the name CROW, dammit
However, it is not yet finally decided, so watch this space ...


Jennie said...

It looks as though you had a great Christmas, Marilyn and a tad warmer than ours! We had the family here - 11 sat down for Christmas lunch. First time for a few years and we had a fantastic time.

We are off to Sue and Ken's (nb Cleddau) for New Year for some serious boat planning (and a bit of eating and drinking!). We are off across The Wash again in 2018, but the other way this time - Boston to Kings Lynn.

We wish you and David a very Happy New Year and a great boating season. Jennie and Chris x

Marilyn McDonald said...

Thank you, Jennie. I trust your NYE was happy and peaceful!
See you in a few months, no doubt, but not on the Wash, just so you know!
Big hugs, Mxx

Jennie said...

So why not the Wash, Marilyn? We had an amazing trip in 2014 and hope for a repeat this year. We had a great time with Sue and Ken over New Year and are looking forward to spending some quality time with them this summer.

What are your cruising plans? Jennis x