Wednesday, January 29, 2014


This summer has nearly passed us by - last year we were at the beach extensively; this year not so much.  Thus it was, at the first possible opportunity, we assembled the Gregorys and a couple of beach chairs at Caroline Bay.  The boys found a small hole and made it much bigger...
while Graham found a grey hair attached to Liz.
The end result of the hole - and two very happy boys!  Nick took the photo below, and with the 50mm on he couldn't quite fit the subjects in, so used a bit of creativity.  It did make me laugh.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The day had to come

Family up, car packed, and on our way to the airport by 8 am - no head injuries this time or ambulances being called - we did warn Dad not to try that trick again!  Arrived at Christchurch Airport in good time for the two-hours-before check-in and barely waited a minute or two before suitcases were bumped off along the conveyor belt.  
Coffee and donuts (or pies and lattes according to fancy) in the comfortable waiting area, and some airport browing kept us occupied.
Passenger departure cards completed...
...and then absolutely no more delaying of the inevitable final goodbyes, last hugs and kisses, and ill-concealed tears.
It's been a glorious eight weeks.  The parting is painful, but I'm convinced that it's "better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all". Until next time?

Monday, January 27, 2014


Up to today I had fairly successfully pretended that D-Day was not coming rapidly at us, but when my brother skyped from SA to wish us a happy last day together, the floodgates opened.  I nearly banned the use of the word "last", but denial only takes you so far!
In typical male/female fashion (at least in my experience, perhaps this is genetic), Dad packed his suitcase in less than 15 minutes, while Mom spent most of the day arranging things and labelling medications and finding a safe home for her hotbrush which I suspect loses a few more teeth with every holiday.
Last lunch in the sunshine on the deck...actually today was a beautiful day after some fiercesome southerlies and rain yesterday. 
In between-times the boys played Minecraft, and I finished off a blouse - cut out from a second-hand size 26 skirt from SaveMart, the fabric of which I loved!
Last game of Rummikub - this has been a really popular game over the past two months with stiff competition from all sides, boys included.
To round off the lasts, our van which exploded in July last year and has been sitting dormant on the street since then, was towed away by Jacques and Andreas for some diagnostics at Mitsubishi. 
Going...gone!  All that remains is a large patch of oil (I'm melting, I'm melting...)
The blanket brigade came out to watch its departure :)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Stack 'em high

I still maintain that we did NOT invite ourselves to the Bothas...flicking a text to Andreas with an innocent "might you happen to be in the mood for pancakes?" is a sneaky ploy though which worked a charm ;)   The men worked diligently in the kitchen...Andreas doing the hard work of cooking and flipping, and Nick generously coating the crepes with cinnamon and sugar, to produce a whopping stack of tasty treats.  We tried hard to finish the pile but between the nine of us, just couldn't get to the end of them!  'Twas a lovely evening together and the first of many goodbyes as my parents leave on Tuesday :(

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Oh bay (or obey)

Family photos...the worst possible torture for the Clevely family, apparently.  Not sure exactly why it's so difficult to get four people to smile at the same time or co-operate and stand still long enough to do this, but I do remember now why they are so few and far between :)
We had a beautiful day today; after tea we bought ice-creams at McDonalds and drove down to the bay to enjoy the evening sun.  The days are already noticeably shorter, but with sunset still around 9.15 we're not complaining!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Read all about it

We have retained our "Friday night pizza and movie" tradition while my parents have been here - it's been a challenge choosing movies to suit six people ranging from 9 to 77 years old; I think the favourite was the 1976 version of "Freaky Friday" with Jodie Foster as the daughter in the switch.  I have video footage of mom and dad in various stages of giggling and memories!  After the first movie and pizza Mom and Dad and the boys settled into communal reading while Nick and I watched a second one.  Great having a bed to comfortably seat four people :)
A new kind of book swapping! 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Uncle Mark and Aunty Pam

After a 'regular' day of a spot of grocery shopping, sewing, and pottering about at home, we went out for tea to Mark and Pam Cvitanich's lovely home. We catch up with them every two years when my parents are visiting ;) No, kidding on that one, but it does seem to be the pattern!  Had a great evening together - especially reminiscing about times at Honeyridge (my childhood church and my parents' current church) and people we knew/know.  How good to be part of God's family with so many extended relations!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Secret Garden or Gone With the Wind?

Dad's been wanting to visit the Botanic Gardens for some time now but for the most part either the weather has been against us or it just hasn't been convenient. Happily today was a great day for it with a warm, fine morning. 
We visited the greenhouse area first and then admired the rose gardens, although noted that it didn't look as well maintained as it was when we came here two years ago. 
Before going down to the duck pond I ran back to the car for bread (and a hat, and Mom's coke and tissues and handbag and sunglasses), and when I got down to the duckpond I could see Mom and the boys but Dad had disappeared.  We assumed he had gone for a walk on his own so we went around to the park area and said hello to the yellow-crested cockatoo who tracked us as we walked around his enclosure, and "hello pretty boy"'d us several times. 
Fed a loaf of rye bread to the ducks, who appreciated it more than we had considering the length of its stay in the freezer.
By the time the loaf was finished we were starting to move beyond simply wondering where Dad had gone - whistling and calling hadn't brought him out the woods so we were a little concerned, but thankfully he appeared and contrary to our imaginings of him being out on a nice stroll, he had spent most of his time looking for us, assuming us to be at the duck pond and going off in that direction - alas, we were at the other duck pond! 
Tea was at Liz and Graham's place, and an amazing wind blew up midway through barbequing; Liz and Claire dismantled as much of the seat swing as possible for fear the wind would carry it away.
Mmm, Graham about to sample that rare tahr fillet...
Had us a round of Taboo after tea (and after watching some hilariously funny YouTube clips, as one does).  Speaking of Claire, here she is again...she's just moved to Timaru from up north, and will be starting a teaching position at a local high school.  We helped her with some moving yesterday and today and look forward to getting to know her better.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

In with the old and out with the new

So um...Mom was so taken with my second-hand outfit (top and jeans from SaveMart) and said I should blog it. I said she could have a photo with pleasure but she said no, it had to be a blog. Here you go then Mumsie...something about "old and new"...certainly referring to the clothing!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ...74, 75, 76

It's Mumsie's birthday today! So pleased to be able to celebrate with her...we warned her last night that we'd be running the traditional Clevely birthday for her, ie hiding pressies in the lounge.  It was with much hilarity and "hot" and "cold" that she shuffled around the carpet on her knees, poking around in the most unexpected places and not looking in the obvious ones.  We steered her away from the big present until the end, surprising her with a Kindle from her loving husband and three darling children.   
Isn't she lovely in some birthday finery!  After church, in which we had guest speaker Cody Knox fill the pulpit very adequately with a superb message, we had lunch at home then joined up with the Bothas and Cody and the Gregorys at Caroline Bay for an ice-cream.  
We were pleased to meet Danya and Sarah, who were leaders on the Scripture Union camp and so knew Cody and Justus - Justus joined us shortly thereafter, togged up and ready for the beach.  The rest of us were huddled in the shelter of the ice-cream shop looking for protection from the chilly wind - what we had hoped would be a lovely afternoon had turned Southerly!  Andreas and Danielle kindly took Mom home to get her out of the wind where she happily spend a short bit of solitary time while we had a quick stop in the Aviary, where surprisingly the wind didn't reach us.
Graham and Liz shared a quick swing step...wonder what would happen to Aaron and his perpetually undone laces if he tried that move?
This cute fellow enjoyed having his head scratched after we found him trustworthy with finger-holding!