It's Easter and the clocks go back this weekend so I keep expecting the Summer to end. It's starting to get darker in the evenings and it's a little bit cooler than it has been, but I just spent the day walking on the beach in my shorts and jandals (flip flops)! The Summer has gone on forever :0) I can't believe it, it's been sunny here pretty much the whole time for the last six months... six months... How amazing is that? I'm not looking forward to the Winter and will no doubt do loads of moaning about the fact that our house might as well be made of cardboard for all the warmth it keeps in, but will try to remind myself that it's only going to last a couple of months and then I'll get another fabulous Summer. Whoop whoop :0)
The Badgers (aka my parents) have been with us in New Zealand for a couple of months now and I think that they're learning to love it as much as we do. We've been away on loads of adventures together including a weekend in Whangamata chilling out on the beach and involved in lots of lake themed activities... We've been camping on Lake Tarawera, spent a few days on the Lake edge in Taupo and have done a four day tramp (hike) around Lake Waikeremoana. That's the first really long hike that Ben and I have done and it was good to have Mum around to organise us all and do all the cooking and Dad to carry the heavy stuff :0) It's pretty amazing being so far into the wilderness that it's a couple of days walk out. We had a bit of rain but it was clear on the day we got the best views so we didn't mind too much. The rain didn't stop us swimming in the lake either, even though it was freezing, but seeing as that was the only way to wash it seemed like the right thing to do. Ben was pretty unpopular with a stroppy South African lady who was one of the others sleeping in the huts with us, as he kept her awake with his snoring! I must be immune these days as I slept like a baby :0)
We had a big barbecue so that Mum and Dad could meet some of our friends and because we don't actually have a barbecue our friends, Colum and Claire, with a very plush house had it at their place instead! Loads of people were there and it's lovely to think that we've made so many good friends even though we've been here less than a year. I, of course, lowered the tone by getting really drunk and loud and ended the evening puking in the neighbours garden! Fortunately I made it back to our house and puked in our neighbours garden rather than theirs. That sort of behaviour is far better tolerated in the rough street we live in than their posh one!!
So what else have the last couple of months involved for us? Well... I made sure that Saint David's Day didn't pass unmarked and made some coconut ice welsh flags, which believe it or not were completely eaten. I am, after all, a baking queen these days. I've even mastered Ceri's carrot cake recipe. Ben had a birthday too and I got him a beach volleyball because we've both been playing in a team all Summer. Now admittedly we haven't won a single game, but we are definitely a lot better at it than we were to start with. I was terrified of the ball for the fist few games and ended up covered in bruises but now I actually enjoy it :0) Anyway, how else would you want to spend your Tuesday evenings but jumping around on the beach in the evening sun?
Other significant events include Erin's party to celebrate her gaining her residency, which couldn't have been more Kiwi as it involved drinking, a barbecue and men in gum boots (wellies) shooting at things! Also... Michelle and Phil are due to have a baby any day now, Ben is off photographing the Jazz festival as we speak and we're heading up to Auckland for a few days next week. Mum and Dad are off doing their own thing on their bikes for a while and will be heading back for my birthday at the end of the month before going home.
Finally the big news is... we're going to get a dog! I'm so excited I can hardly contain myself :0) Our landlady has agreed to let us get one and now I can hardly think of anything else! The problem is we need to wait for Ben's residency to be confirmed before we get one and we just don't know when that's going to happen. It could be any day now or not for another few months. It's so frustrating I could scream! But I guess as long as they actually say yes in the end then that's the main thing. But as soon as we get that all important passport stamp we will be headed to the local pound and getting ourselves the biggest, mangiest, three-legged, one-eyed, smelly, old dog we can find :0)