Monday 1 February 2016

Fly, Beach, Pool, Beach, Beach, Drive, Farm, Beach, Drive, Fly

OK, so the grandsons arrived in NZ on 30 December, and then on 30 January, they headed back to Scotland. They had a pretty good holiday, I think, spread between Waikanae and Taranaki - Opunake and Tongaporutu.

Our son, Tim was keen to have a summer holiday with real sun and warmth, not what has passed as summer in Scotland over the last couple of years.

They had more than 50% sunshine and heat, with some rainy days - just enough to balance out the possibility of extreme sunburn if the kids want to be outside all the time - and allowing time for some of the homework to be done.

We had a wonderful week with them at the beginning. 

I picked them up from the airport after 30 hours travelling and on arrival back in Waikanae the first thing Tim wanted to do was go for a swim at the beach even though it wasn't particularly sunny and warm. Cases out of the car, and off we went. Of course, I took them to the beach car park right next door to Kevin and Wendy's so while they swam and played I could go in for a chat and a drink. Then it was off to Bruce and Gary's for a shower - ours was non-operative until the following day. Home for dinner, but Karol was already asleep and it was a very early night for everyone.
That's them heading for the water - Olek is already getting in. Tide was out.

Brekkie on the first morning - see how sunny it was outside?
Grammy and Olek selfie - so good to be able to cuddle these boys!
As the boys had been taken out of school for this holiday, there was HOMEWORK!!! Olek's required ues of The New Shorter  Oxford - both volumes ...
Over the next few days it was a succession of beach and Waikanae pool visits interspersed with eating and the occasional homework session.

David and I had a lovely day with the boys at Queen Elizabeth Park near Raumati South - I am so pleased I have lost weight and am fitter, as I would not have had anywhere near as much fun, running around with water cannon, being doused and dousing in return - no photos exist of this extraordinary event as David was being an OLD granddad sitting up on the logs looking after the bags ... His excuse anyway!
Heading for the tram station stop with two shopping trolleys filled with beach gear and food.

Here comes the tram that will take us to the beach
Magnum icecreams on the tram - yum!
The happy grandparents
Olek is ready for action

Beach cricket was hilarious - both boys are accurate batters and good bowlers, and getting Olek out was difficult, dammit. However I did manage, by some fluke, to bowl him out with ball bowled on the full - it seemed to drop down on to the bails from over his head - obviously too high to whack at with the the bat.

Then it was off to Taranaki - Kirsty went with them up to Tongaporutu and she and Tim relived their childhood days there. My family have been going to Tongaporutu from when I was about 4 years old (a year or so after we arrived in NZ) and Dad and Mum built a bach there in 1960, they bought a smaller one (less maintenance) back in the late 80s which I took over with a niece when Dad decided he needed the capital. I then gifted my share to Tim and Kirsty, but as they are both now living overseas but paying two thirds of the costs and not getting any use out of it, they decided to sell. Their hearts are still there though.

Kirsty came back to Wellington and then back to Sydney and back to work; and Tim, Marta and the boys stayed on in Opunake for a couple of weeks until it was time for Marta to fly back to Scotland and back to work. While Tim was taking Marta to the airport, David and I took the opportunityto take the boys for a short walk up in Hemi Matenga - a reserve in the hills behind Waikanae. We barely scratched the surface, but will do more another day.
It's a well formed track in beautiful bush.
We played 3 Billy Goats Gruff and the Troll at most of the bridges that Karol or Olek could get under.
Checking out the pongas and birds - we saw a big fat kereru flying from tree to tree - a kereru is a native pigeon - not  rat with feathers but a beautiful bird that is protected.

Then it was back to Taranaki for Tim and the boys for the last bit of their holiday and the last opportunities for sunburn, sea and swimming. I wonder if all the homework got done ...

On Saturday 30 Jan they returned here from Taranaki and flew out that afternoon - back to the cold and rain and dark. In St John's Town of Dalry at that time it was 6 deg and windy with an average 57.5% chance of rain over the next 4 hours and 90% chance of snow after that ...

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