"May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art - write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope somewhere in the next year you’ll surprise yourself." - Neil Gaiman
Happy New Year! Phew! This is the calm after the storm -
I’ve been all over the shop in the past couple of weeks and I don’t have a solid weather update to put here - you’ll get the gist as I blab on…
I spent Christmas in the South Island of New Zealand in a bach (nz word for beach house/holiday home) at Pareora River in Timaru with Hailey’s mum’s side of the family.
Hailey’s mum, B, pictured above is not doing the Sprinkler Dance (note: I am not 100% if she is or not). hehe!
So, this is my first time going to the South Island of New Zealand and I got the plane with Hailey’s brother, E, to Christchurch where we were met by B and we took a drive to Timaru, stopping on the way for some treats such a fudge and I had a steak and cheese pie for breakfast - how very kiwi of me?! (it was so freaking yummy, words just can’t explain, maybe it was the lack of sleep kicking in from 6am flight but it was simply euphoric).
We got to the bach on Christmas eve in Timaru, Timaru has about the same population as Kilmarnock and I swear for just a little second I felt like I was in Ayrshire. Oh homesickness, you amplify each happy emotion I have - thank you.
Introductions happened and I felt instantly welcome, this lovely bach has been in the family for at least 5 generations as the 4th generation are starting to have babies I am sure that there are many generations to experience this place. It’s a bach with 4 bedrooms (the one I was in contained about seven sleeping spaces, bunkbeds, double bed, single bed! The first night I was there the bedroom only had two people in it, by the last night five of us were sharing one room!) a big piece of land for camper-vans, tents etc and an outdoor bathroom with a tank of hot water for the bunch of us to share! (maximum quantity of people at one time at the bach: 25)
Hailey had the good sense that the weather may not stay glorious for us and we should probably explore while it was nice, armed with my togs (kiwi word for swimming outfit) and some Dutch courage we marched to the Pareora River - nothing was gunna stop us. not even eels.
Oh dear… WARNING: BRIGHT OBJECTS WEAR EYE-PROTECTION TO OBSERVE! seriously though? how pale are we? twilight, eat your heart out!? vampires sparkle? well! we glow!! gingergenes.
oh the nostalgia!! - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIiblu5kLhw
anyhoo! so there was flying fox action too (cable car type thing - not animal bat like thing) and a HUGE cat called MEATBAALLL!
I bounced out of my bed, flew into the living room and drank my tea as we began to exchange prezzies with each other, scrutinising each other’s faces to see if the other person truly likes the gift! we kept some prezzies at home for post Christmas, Christmas. we saved some Christmas fun for Hailey’s dad because he had to work over Christmas. I ate like a princess that day and by princess i mean pig. croissants for breakfast, ham (cannibalism) for Christmas dinner and we went to say our seasons greetings to our new found chubby feline friend.
I called home, I called my Dad and he was so happy to hear my voice, I was so happy that B let me use her phone as I got no reception out in the great wild. called everyone else and then as I got off the phone my homesickness was interrupted by the youngsters at the fire place, asking me where my accent is from and if i’m Polish. I am not! I had a lovely Christmas outdoor shower at night time so I could get some hot water while everyone else was busy!
I wake up suddenly on Boxing day with a phone call from my Dad, he was trying to figure out where these strange NZ numbers were popping up from, I forgive you!
More people arrive at the bach and we go to meatbally faces territory, his bum is angry and smells bloody terrible, he clearly didn’t take it easy over Christmas. eww. Haileybubz was keen for some boxing day sale action in town and craigy was keen on a walk to the dam, both equally frightening, shopping wins. as we got further into town, i saw more mullets than i’ve ever seen…
Hailey then took us to Caroline Bay Carnival which featured hot donuts, rose gardens and semi-safe carnival rides.
I visited Scotland for a wee second in the picture above. Imagine if that was real life, to scale - save us all. i’d be stephzilla steppin’ on er’body!
Got back to the bach late afternoon and I let a four year old girl put chalk in my hair, she’s got two older brothers, she was so chuffed to be doing girly things! I got given a pretty flower from one of her brothers (he bet the other boys $5 that i’d accept it…) and the lingo of these youngsters these days “young, dumb and full of…” DO YOU KISS YOUR MOTHER WITH THAT MOUTH!? - we all had a fairly civilised end to the night with us helping hailey with her puzzle book! -
I was taken on a wee adventure to look for eels, we took frozen sausages as bait and we tried to break up the links using a shovel, no luck, i had the bright idea of running the sausages under warm water like i do with ice cubes to loosen them from the tray but naaaw it didn’t work out too well, walking about with cold, gooey sausages. I don’t blame the eels for not taking the bait and I’m not afraid of the dark, i’m afraid of my imagination and the dark “steph, what would you do if the torch just shut off and me and C just disappeared?” “steph, imagine if we saw a feral man in the tree over there?” - the only feral man i wouldn’t mind seeing is Will Ferrell… good one steph! We got back to the bach and had a cuppa tea, biscuits and a chat by the outside fire! bliss!
The next day we got up and went to see some maori rock drawings and went and had lunch at Pleasant Point, went to see some stuffed animals and tried hokey pokey ice-cream! I got to see a real live wallaby, dead.
Got to the bach and had some white bait pancakes… the eyes, oh my gee the eyes! :(
The last night, I went on another adventure with R, and C and they had better bait for the eels, we spent ages hunting them down only to find the frozen sausages from the night before until C spotted an eel, about the length and width of my leg peer out from under the bank, we called her Stephanie, AN EEL NAMED AFTER MEEEE!
another early flight back to Auckland and the lack of sleep and trekking about with wet socks on has caught up with me, I have a cold.
Thank you everyone at Timaru, you made this Christmas totally special for me, you made me feel welcome and at home.
POST CHRISTMAS, CHRISTMAS?!
I like the way hailey does Christmas, she extends it, it’s great! we took a trip out to muriwai to spend the night (i forgot we were spending the night - silly me) and we got to share that special christmassy moment together again, although, it’s hard to think that it’s christmas when i’m outside drinking cider in a spa hot tub…
Anyhoo, this looks like it’s gotta be a two parter, i’ve got a lot more blabbing to do about my new years adventure, see you in a bit, I hope Christmas was lovely and I hope you’re all doing well!