57 yrs celebrating in Russell, Bay of Islands . Perfect weather and a great drive up. Masks must be worn as Northland is still a red Zone and COVID kept out though I believe their double vacc is now up to 90% 🤸♂️. Our suite at the Duke of Marlborough is lovely and overlooks the small Harbour and the Street where everyone congregates , happy families everywhere , then they all disappear on the ferry which takes them back to Pahia the other side of the Harbour at dinner time . Then Russell is back to its 1000 or so locals and people with holiday homes .
Of course Russell was the first European settlement in NZ , so is of great historic significance .
A few splendid days with Julie and Russel at Oropi , Tauranga
Angus on his 10th birthday ❤️
Also Boxing Day when all the various families and in laws came together at ours !
A smaller Christmas cake this year, being matured quickly with a liberal dousing of brandy whilst still warm , new style mince pies by me, sort of mincemeat squares, so quick and easy and delicious
Getting ready for Christmas, beautiful flowers arrived from Amanda and family in Melbourne , home made hats from years past ! So exciting 👏👏👏👏👏🥂🎄💃❤️
Angus would have been a baby so missed out
The end of the School Year for Amy and Livvy . Amy very modest about her achievements , science, maths etc . Plus this certificate design an d visual communication. Livvy off to College this next year after a very successful few years at Churchill Park , very proud grandparents x
1st meal out after lockdown ended and look who we banged into at our favourite local!? Brenda and Bruce ,I had had my first haircut in months hours earlier , now ready for Christmas
6 years ago. Cousins decorating our tree at Glover Road St Heliers , so lovely !
I wondered why I was stiff last night , of course all the bending, twisting, stretching canrryon of decorating a Christmas tree , delving around in the depths of cupboards ,stretches muscles we had all but forgotten about !
Our new vehicle , get to use the old number plates again. Match nicely with FL0YDI. Parked at Callum and Phoebe’s for an admire 🥴!
Hadn’t seen one another for months always great fun
Cousins a few years ago ,how special is that !
Julie and Russell over from Tauranga fetched and carried gave plenty of mental and physical help to make the evening a success Dear dear friends .
Amelia, Calvin, Angus and Olivia
We enjoyed a grand gathering of friends for a champagne dinner party at our apartment . Julie and Russell arrived from Tauranga on the Thursday and helped in the preparation , it was a super time together as hadn’t seen them for 5 months whilst Calvin has been in semi isolation . Callum helped so much before and during plus all our lovely friends .
Flew up to see us today. We last had time with Michelle and daughter Jax when they visited us in France three years ago and we spent time together in Paris and Mirabel aux Baronnies . Happy days remembered
Winter Lunch on a quiet Sunday at our local !
My original proto type coat designed, woven , sewn by moi in mohair and wool
Grocery shopping for two plus wine, fortunately friends calling In Later this week haha . Always a full larder in case of serious conditions , I always say we have sufficient for three months !!!!!
Good N Z wool
Narrow spaces become interesting given some thought !
At Newmarket Mall ! Time out exhausting work !!!
Yesterday we both had our Covid Vaccinations number one.
Driving and finding the vaccination centre in Mt Wellington Auckland proved to be a bit of a challenge with one or two hesitations due to GPS and my ideas not aligning with good reason !!!!! However I got us there with a few mins to spare. Following all the instructions and checking in at the various tables made me feel a little. ‘Senior’ worse than in a international airport where we navigate with ease.
However we have been vaccinated , have our appointment for our second jab 1 August so life moves on .’
Though this photo was taken in Lyon many years ago ,
Mirabel aux Baronnies
In the top corner of western Provence nr. The Drome is this lovely hilltop village. Very ancient with the church at he top of the hill and streets ( alleyways) cascade down from it where we reside when there is just below the church in a very ancient modest house with spiral stone stairs, a Grande cave which goes right under the house and the road withmoulded vats , where Jos has made it into a wonderful summer house for him to live in whilst he rents out the two apartments above. Jos is a collecter of art and fine fabrics so we are very privelidged to be able to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and quirkiness of some aspects 🥴
He is indeed a great friend and we enjoy his company for many weeks each year.
Calvin and I have certain duties expected of us like watering the outside pots and looking after the plants on our terrace. Which we love doing.
The tissue paper on the petals gives it a luminosity which is appealing !
Quite pleased with this !
Calvin has had his last chemotherapy session, we look forward to being able to celebrate in about 10 days when he starts feeling much better. In the meantime we take each day as it comes , mainly indoors , reading books, and he is drawing and painting as it’s difficult for a man of action not to have the energy to do more physical stuff outside. Being in the middle of winter helps.
Our friends from Mirabel aux Baronnies organised a Zoom meet up the other night and we spent an hour talking and catching up on the gossip of the village. They showed us the landscape and surrounds and sent us a photo of Michael and Jos inJos’s garden admiring his new sculpture. A wonderful time and they promise to do it again before the end of summer.
Another early Imari plate purchased in Mirabel aux Baronnies Provence many years ago , well used and loved ,rather heavy and impractical to fly home with , but I did it 💃
I made another purchase the other day, a great serving dish circa 1850 Imari Minton/Spode not sure . Lovely shape to scoop out veges . Debut Calvins 80 th birthday dinner party woohoo
Him and her . Him by her, her by Rob McDowell 1979 Mt Michael .
Oh to be back in Mirabel aux Baronnies !
Not fun for Calvin of course but he is enjoying his art and now developing style with a palette knife. Indoor activities as his energy levels are zero at this time plus other hideous side effects.
Calvin no 1 paua shell and 2 from me a shell and flowers
Tutors Ill so Brenda joined me at the table. Calvin joined in, all fun.
Calvin is drained of all energy this time,I feel for him, the sooner the next two sessions of chemo are over the better . The meds are biting into the bone marrow and hopefully doing a lot of good !Hopefully again , we can walk to the corner and back today , there is a seat at the corner overlooking the Harbour towards Waiheke, a different view from at home.The sun is shining it looks a beautiful day .
So far so good, powering his way through treatments, no complaints, always smiling, cracking jokes with the nurses and and other chemo recipients. Oh what a man and inspite of some pretty horrible side effects. Unfortunately no Covid 19 vaccination for him til at least a month after his last chemo session. We are being careful, no infections as we are pretty much staying clear of any situations when you can catch infections, isolating but worth it.
Books are being read at an amazing pace, viewing the two renovations next door and next door to that and guessing what will be happening next. My new Art hobby is fun and cooking is taking up more time with much pleasure involved. Of course the activity in the Harbour is ever changing as well. It’s a quiet life.but worthwhile for a good outcome.
Photos of yesteryear, our mothers, family weddings and welcoming Noel and Phoebe into the family. Feeling very blessed x
Omg these photos provoked such memories as Marie and I reminisced on Instagram , happy happy family times with help from everyone. Never again will I cater for a family wedding or the day after bbq. Though at the time I managed 🤣 I nearly expired after the last one but such super memories made it worthwhile .
Tales of great fishing and work on a mutual friends yacht in the Bay of Islands
Sauce by mrs saucy , pasta by ‘sir’, veges in the sauce from the garden !
Calvin is pleased with this sketch, he says it gives him more hair !!!!!
As Calvin is taking the infusions well they were able to speed up the process this visit to Day Stay at the Auckland Hospital . 4 hours rather than 9hours seemed a vast improvement.
Once again a humbling experience with other patients, in Calvin’s room a tv and radio celebrity young at 50 having his infusion then off back to the radio station. A young girl with her mother and a middle aged man . So busy in there you don’t feel alone in your battle. All being so positive and getting on with what needs to be done.
No photos this time except this one of Calvin last evening , over his hiccups which went on for a few hours then showing he hasn’t lost his appetite and feeling great .
Biddy can’t complain as she is oblivious to my endeavors of capturing her image from Amanda’s photos.
I enjoy Life-drawing , the human form so beautiful in all its guises!
Not so sure about the cow ! But Amanda likes ‘ Biddy’ and I am not to finish it but frame it as is……………
The ‘bubble’ between Australia and NZ will be open in the near future ( we hope) how great that will be !
Meanwhile in Melbourne on Easter Sunday a lovely dinner for Amanda, Noel, Ellen Frances and Rosie. Not forgetting Biddy whose portrait I will be endeavoring to capture on Wednesday,
is it an Apple !!!????
Another wonderful doodle by Ellen, so insightful and powerful
We are feeling very proud of Ellen and Frances . Ellen’s publication and design work arrived in the post yesterday from Melbourne. Inside we spyed two wonderful panting s by Frances, a self portrait and a painting of Ellen .
Phoebe , Callum, Amelia, Olivia and Angus celebrating Callums 49 th birthday X
A 14 week course of drawing , pastels, and acrylics it is perfect for me. I have the time, it’s something I have wanted to do for years.
Over the decades of living in the country firstly as the headmasters wife , mother, and later as a farmer , I created a life for myself in the Art World firstly as a Spinner , knitter and weaver, then the weaving became my life and through that Art Exhibitions, active in the local Art Society , my own exhibitions with two friends a potter and an artist,
Later in Christchurch it was developing our historic home into a Bed And Breakfast,welcoming guests from all over the world for about 16 yrs
All the while I wanted to dabble in drawing and painting but the time Was never right ! Now it is …………..
Unexpectedly an uneventful night, the lad slept , no expected sweats or flu like symptoms, just wakened with the hiccups. Now we are off for a gentle walk , to be continued………
In 21 days we have another visit to the hospital DayStay and they tell us it will be for less time, about 3 hrs. Then this routine will continue for about 5 months. We are ready !!!!!!!
It was a happy place to be in, plenty of smiles and positivity oozing in the atmosphere. From Young fit and handsome young Polynesian man, university lecturer type, young mother, Muslim lady, middle aged man and Calvin the oldest, he didn’t look the oldest 🙄
The staff were fabulous and explained all the different toxic chemicals being introduced, we read books, I went through two, plus exercises and a bit of walking to help my numb bum from sitting in the delightful upright chair. Even Calvin was past the lying down by the time it was all over for the day.
I bombarded the family with updates and photos until my iPad lost power, note to self to take a charger next time 🥴 all in all it was a bit like a long haul flight even the thought of destination home seemed rather appealing.
Son Callum responded to requests for picking up meds , taking delivery of my leopard skin chair delivered a day early and he also left lovely pasta in the fridge. Lovely daughter Amanda in Melbourne Australia answered my innumerable texts and lent great support and love.
Wearing my 1980. Chanel blouse in our hotel in St Germaine des Pres !
Alison ,David and family often came to stay on the farm, a breathe of fresh air from Christchurch City 3 hrs drive away . Alison would paint and sketch, David would help Calvin on the farm, the children similar ages to ours would disappear for hours exploring the native bush and river , riding ponies and generally being free.
Amy made the most delicious raspberry cheesecake , it was to be strawberry but the gods were smiling on Granny and the supermarket only had raspberries!!!! granny’s favourite fruit!!!
7.1. 7.4. 8.1 off the coast near the Kermodec Islands . Strange sea movements
Calvin in tune with our waiter
As you may have guessed I love my ‘ Camilla’ top
Granny out with the grandchildren
What we wore, what we ate in Russell , such a relaxing time !
My homegrown garlic !!!
My small but very productive vege garden
Without a photo of the stars of the show doing what they do so well!!! Perusing a menu at the Duke of Marlborough Russell Bay of Islands
A short but very relaxing break in one of our favourite spots
We had booked a session at Spark Arena at the Wynyard Quarter home of the Americas and Prada Cup as we were excited about entertaining the grandchildren for the day.
Well the weather was perfect, the crowds were having a breather , the sun shone . We arrived down there early so we’re able to wander around admiring the super yachts, and various other grand boats , choosing favourites .
First off trying the simulator and taking the helm of the Emirates Team NZ Americas Cup Yacht. Well that was 10 mins of exhilaration that’s for sure. Calvin at the helm he raced around the course, the children hanging on for dear life.
Then a quick dash next door to the Spark Arena and a hands on experience of designing the yacht which the kids adored. Into the wind tunnel and how the wind was currently blowing around the Hauraki Gulf, then the full on experience in the yacht experiencing the thrill of racing and though standing on terrafirma my toes were curling up as I tried to keep my balance as we powered along in a race. My sense of balance lost with this 360’ imagery.
Oh what a time we had and all for free, welldone organizers of the Americas Cup Village.
Time for a restorative and food which we found at a cafe restaurant nearby. Granny and Grandad sank gratefully into comfortable seats as we enjoyed the quiet of our surroundings and discussed our great long morning.
We slipped down to Soul at the viaduct for a quiet lunch , enjoyed whole flounders cooked in butter and glasses of French champagne. Perfect day .
Then home to watch the first of the Challenger race offs for the Americas Cup
We have fun with the grandchildren who live around the corner.
Today Granny Jo and grandad Calvin thought a little trip out to the Historic Puhoi Pub for lunch and other pursuits with Olivia and Angus would be appropriate . Of course we had to have the roof down on the car all the way home hah !!!!!
Love these photos, reflecting the start of 2021
What will the new year bring?! Our 56th wedding anniversary on 16 January, Calvin’s 80th birthday in July, my 79 th in October omg where have the years gone.
Meantime we have the Americas Cup Sailing to watch over the next 3 months, a lovely summer to enjoy . Calvin’s Chemo for 6 months from Feb. then in October after Covid Vaccines and hopeful of borders opening again ,we will visit France and all our friends.
Merry Christmas 2020
Pre Christmas baking!
Christmas is coming early this year !!!!
Masks worn all over the world . Brendan and Kola
Lovely wax fabric, coral necklaces, plus ancient trade beads chosen by my lovely Nigerian friends
Mirabel aux Baronnies in autumn
Contemplating watering my garden and a small harvest
A great polished performance by both the girls, in Hip Hop and Jazz Dance.
Gorgeous Amanda in India last year
Our lovely family , gorgeous Ellen , Frances and daughter Amanda from Melbourne, Callum, Angus, Amelia and Olivia ; Auckland . Several years ago, like 2015 !
What I wore to the glorious picnic at the Community gardens. Toasts with Prosecco , Rose and good Chardonnay the drinks of preference on this wondrous day.