Monday and Tuesday were much the same as other holiday days - I found more cupboards and drawers to sort and tidy, played music, freaked out at everyone's mess in the house and instilled the motto my Dad drove into us of "don't put it down, put it away", did a bit of shopping, and read a bit. The boys have spent a lot of time outdoors on their ripsticks or bikes, and have also set the small tent up in the garage again for a few nights of 'camping out'. Nick has taken two weeks' leave and so is at home too, although he is still doing studies and research in preparation for the rest of Romans. He also has time and liberty now to kayak, take bicycle rides around Timaru, and chop firewood! I popped in to school yesterday morning for some new socks for the boys and would have done an hour or two of work but such a clutter of unopened and opened mail, reading journals, enrolment forms, notes from teachers and other bits were strewn about my desk that I didn't know where to begin; added to the work awaiting was the discovery that the stationery cupboard key is missing so I will have to learn how to pick locks next week. I gave up on trying to prioritize anything and will launch into it with gusto next Wednesday.
Liz's scrapbooking shop is a finalist in the "Tell a Friend" competition to do with promoting South Canterbury as an awesome place; as a finalist she now gets to have a professionally-made promotional video which will receive votes after its release in March. For her video, Liz decided to gather a group of ladies for a filmed crop in which real pages were produced about South Canterbury. I was thrilled to be a part of it! Admittedly I was nervous about producing a page as I haven't scrapped in a good two years but I had so much fun doing it under Liz and Miss Betsy's guidance and expertise. We were filmed choosing papers and embellishments, planning the pages, shuffling elements around and engaging with one another as one would normally do at a regular scrapping event. The funniest part was having to assemble a page in silence so the camera could capture 'scrapping sounds' - the swish of papers together, the crackle of adhesive lettering stickers being peeled off from their backing and the crisp flick of a photo getting firmly laid down. All very interesting and heaps of fun. Can't wait to see the end result at its unveiling early March!
Lunch at Sopheze with Graham, Liz and Miss Betsy to celebrate before hurrying home so Nick could use the car. He loaded up the kayak and the boys for an afternoon at the Bay to enjoy another really hot summer's day - Timaru was both the hottest and coldest place in NZ with a low of 7.8°C and a high of 31.6°C. Liz and I met up with them (Graham to follow a bit later) around 4.30 pm to enjoy some beach time but unfortunately the wind had just come up - Timaru also boasted being the second windiest place in NZ with 56 km/h winds which surely must have all been centered at Caroline Bay. It was truly nasty and the perfectly unideal condition for trying out Nick's kayak for the first time, I discovered (along with the shocking revelation that lipgloss and nor'westers are not good beach partners). Apart from quickly being soaked as waves washed overboard, I had almost no control of the kayak as the wind and waves held me captive. I narrowly missed two older ladies enjoying a neck-deep paddle who just managed to hear my warning cries above the wind, and nearly ran aground into rocks before hearing Nick's instructions to paddle backwards. Good thing he was on hand to give me a tow back to the shore. Endured more of the heat and wind while I dried off; suddenly the wind died down and it was calm for half a minute before a southerly blew up! Brrr! But it was short-lived and conditions finally settled to mild and calm, rather perfect for a BBQ. We found a suitable spot in the big grassy ring encircled by the Port Loop Road and set up the brand new portable BBQ. Not having even opened the box yet, we were dismayed to see that it needed good old-fashioned matches or a lighter to get it started - and we hadn't thought to bring anything. Borrowed a lighter from a group close to us and nearly burned the sausages in the resulting heat from our excellent barbeque. Had a great meal together with Liz and Graham; took a walk to Burger King for sundaes for pudding. A great wrap-up of a superb day!