30 August 2010

Before the memories fade...

Let me indulge just one more time....

Clouds reflected in a strangely still sea

The sky gathering  from the sea, bringing water into its embrace

It is hard to fathom any footstep ever being tread here

Seeking and searching a soul-satisfying meal

Proud pines tower before angry skies. Whilst driftwood sits silently, forlorn and forgotten.

Toi toi brush their feathers against a canvas of azure sky

Where ripples of sienna sand meet peachy clouds, magic is not far away

A solitary shell nestles deeper into the comfort of silky sand

29 August 2010

Waltons Moments

It would be fair to say we've had a few 'Waltons moments' of late.

What do I mean by that? I have my lovely sister -in-law Ann-Marie to thank for the phrase. A 'Waltons moment' is when in the midst of whatever you happen to be doing, you have an epiphany of how perfect and happy and complete you feel in that exact moment of time.  Like life couldn't ever be any better than right here, right now.

There were occasions where I wished I could have taken a giant hammer and smashed time to smithereens. So that we could have held on to all the moments, for longer, maybe even forever. And yet, I know that what made these moments full of life, love and laughter so incredible yet bittersweet, was in fact the knowledge that time was ticking slowly on. There were only so many minutes, hours and days for us to suck the marrow out of life together.

But suck it we did. There wasn't a whole heap left but the skin of that marrow by the time we were done.

On the beach
Arriving to blue skies. The vast shoreline beckoning us closer. It felt like all the time in the world to sit and merely reflect.

Conversations held over coffees and milkshakes. The outdoors calling strongly to us and we answered.

We walked the beach, every evening. Saw the sun giving up its warmth and golden glow in exchange for salmon and hot pink hues. Marvelled at each day as it was ending. Left wishing for more.

Midwinter swims for the boys. Never mind the water was only about 10 degrees. Wild horses wouldn't have stopped them chasing the waves and each other.

While the boys splashed in mud pools and ran in and out of the waves, a little boy savoured sandy sensations. Loving the feel of the sand between his fingers and toes. The sensation as it touched his lips.

Collected shells and the odd half-eaten crab. What is it about boys that they are so fascinated with nature at its rawest?

Built a den which stood the test of time. Put a patriotic spin on it by raising our flag high. Flags of our Fathers eat your heart out!

Played rugby up and down the beach.

Drank in the salt air, the sheen of the distant hills, and the feel of rippled sand under our feet.

Fell asleep each night to the sound of the waves. Rhythmic and soothing. Like being enveloped in a mumma's womb all over again.

A trip to Lindale Farm park, walking freely among friendly pigs and sheep on an unseasonably warm winter afternoon. And Kapiti Icecream to finish!

A tram ride in Queen Elizabeth Park.

To the seashore littered in driftwood, which was a wanna-be soldier's goldmine. Many a scene from Saving Private Ryan, and Band of Brothers recreated. Not to mention the recent classic scene from that great Kiwi film Boy: The Movie. See it if you haven't!

Rambling on miniature trains at Raumati Gardens. The passionate the drivers have about their engines endearing, and their enjoyment at sharing the experience obvious. Then sliding slippery slopes in the afternoon sun.

At The House
Games of Guess Who and Connect Four. Fresh bread for lunch. Roasts cooked, takeaway curries devoured. Little boys exclaiming they were 'Best Cousins' on a regular basis. Walks in the evening after dinner for the girls whilst the boys built Lego upon Lego.

A Treasure Hunt in the garden. Pineapple lumps and mini challenges at each stage, and 2 little mini-Lego figures for the finale.

Adults Only
And each night when all was quiet on the western front, we four Yahtzeed, Trivial Pursuited, Scrabbled and Rummy-Ohed our way through several bottles of wine and beer, chips and dip, and blocks of chocolate while we caught up on the last 2 and a half years.

And on our return to Wellington, a night out together at Piccolo awaited (at our favourite Italian restaurant Il Piccolo's big brother). Sunday evening, and with only two tables in the restaurant, it would be fair to say we had the run of the place. The owner couldn't do enough for us, and the food and conversation flowed like all good occasions should. And with lovely Italian wine, antipasta, carbonara and steaks, tiramisu and bucaneve to enjoy why shouldn't it have? Topped off  with lemoncello, the eveining was complete.

Then home to bed. Full of good food, and hearts bursting with more experiences than we could ever have dreamed possible in five short days.

Memories to savour. To hold tightly onto. Memories that will live on and on. As time goes by and they are no longer recalled or relived daily, they will still be there for us all. We won't always remember this time as vividly as we do now, but the memories will be there.Tucked away into that quiet and contemplative place saved only for once-in-a-lifetime memories.

26 August 2010

There IS a God

How could you not believe in the power of One who creates this kind of beauty?

Who reveals glimpses of heaven without us even asking?

Even though our emotions ebb and flow like the tide, His love is always constant

His glory shines brighter than the sun

The sun never goes down on His love

Even in the dying light of each day, He is there

He commands the waves and they obey Him

He knows every shell, every grain of sand

As each day fades, it rises on the rest of the world to glorify Him

And who are we that He is so mindful of us?
And yet..
He loves us more than anything else He has ever created.
So much more than these glorious displays.
I am in awe.

25 August 2010

Theatrics at Te Papa

Last week we took our UK family to Te Papa. I'm always proud to show off our national museum to visitors, being as rich in culture and history as it is. There is so much for children to see and do at the four discovery centres that you can easily wile away several hours without even realising it. Here's what captured our imaginations:

We wrote a message and added it to the hundreds of other ecological messages making a giant kakapo.
Crawled inside the whale's heart and experienced the echo of its chambers.
Wondered at how light pumice was.

Mylo found a button that (for once) no-one minded him tu-tuing with!
He checked his carbon footprint, not bad. And tried to power up a lightbulb.
And compared his likeliness to a monkey...yep pretty close.

We marvelled at NZ from on high. Created our own movie and posted it on the big screen. Experienced the Golden Days of NZ exhibition.

The boys explored their Pacific Island heritage, banging a beat together on the bongo drums.
Native animal puppets and a car track providing plenty of entertainment.
A cloak of hands providing an inspiration for a future teaching experience that Ann-Marie will take home to her children.

The boys took great pride in a mega mega Lego Block tower built. That was until Mylo knocked it flying.
We braved some extreme winds to get a view of the city.

And uncovered some dinosaur remains in the fossil pit. The boys play acted in the ampitheature.

Then demanding an impromptu theatre performance from us girls providing a let-your-hair-down-make-an-idiot-of-yourself-but-have-great-fun-whilst you're-at-it moment to end a terrific day out.

Video recorded by the young budding movie producer, Jack.

24 August 2010

Just a sample

Without question, this has been one of the most special and unforgettable weeks of our lives. There is so much to to share that I feel like my head might well explode from the excitement! Suffice to say there will be few new posts coming this way in the near future.

But here is a little sample just to whet the proverbial whistle until I find the time to do justice to each amazing moment:

Two cousins. Rocking to the beat of the bongo drums

Attacked by a green furry octopus

What can you see Jack?

Look how high up I am!

Discovering all the beach house had to offer

Each day the sunsets just got better and better

Aunty cuddles

The boys in their den

Raising the flag

We salute

Flying high

Enjoying a sandy sensation

Racing the waves

Another day, another stunning sunset

More beach frolics

Recreating Boy: The Movie

Gotcha Uncle Mark

A driftwood dagger

A treasure hunt makes terrific mid-afternoon entertainment

Leaving our mark on the beach

Girls chilling

Miniature railway rambling

Brothers in thought

A slide train

Piccolo: the piece de resistance

 Fountain fun for a fiesty few

I'll race ya!

Now if I could just get my finger on that lens....

Peas in a pod: the inseparable duo

Signs of spring

For the love of a cousin

The sun has set on these magical memories.
They will last and last.
Through the weeks, months and years
Until we shall meet again.
We know not where or when.
Only that we will.
Farewell our precious family.
Loved, cherished and always in our hearts.


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