Day 161 10 June – ouma’s chocolate jar

My mother always had a glass cookie jar at home, filled with an assortment of cookies with one of my favourite being the chocolate coated digestives. I remember as a child how my sister and I tried to sneak cookies from this jar, mastering the camouflage sound effects of coughing to hide the clanging of the glass jar lid as we carefully placed it back. You know you were unsuccessful when your attempt is followed by “Anli…Joy…sit die koekies terug!”

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Now my mom has a chocolate jar, where all the birthday and Christmas chocolates are stored. Today I taught my daughter the skilful act of camouflage coughing while we tried to sneak chocolates, but it ended up in laughter and we were caught out.

 

Day 160 9 June – spills

Today was certainly one of those “I should have stayed in bed” type of days. It seemed that everything I touched turned to custard, and not the edible sweet dessert type. I often have days when I feel jittery and have random, uncontrollable shakes. I don’t know if it is due to not eating properly on that day or being over-tired, but it usually turns my day upside-down.

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But I have noticed that through the photo diary challenge I am able to see the light-hearted side to life, and there was no time to cry over my spilled coffee, especially when it is in the shape of the African continent.

*always look at the bright side of life…*

Day 159 8 June – sweet sixteen

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My gorgeous niece turned 16 today!! Honestly, where has the time gone? This photo was taken at my wedding in 2003. She was one of our flower girls and was such a precious poppet. Clearly the day was too big for such a little person.

Sweet 16

Rosy cheeks baby girl,

sunflower headband and carefree giggles,

you crept in my heart ever so gently.

Soft blush cheeks teenage girl,

nail polish, fishnet stockings and boyfriend kisses,

you are finding your place in the world.

Day 158 7 June – curious calf

Living on a farm brings with it new neighbours. And no, I don’t mean the nosey, noisy type you can do without. But the 4 legged type.

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The calves are usually not friendly as they don’t have much contact with us two legged type unless they are being transported. The paddocks around us are usually offered up as grazing for farmers with horses, calves, cows and cheep.

This particular young bull was quiet curious and came up close enough for these up-close-and-personal photos.

Living the rural life.

Day 156 5 June – family

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My sister made the most of her time here with us by taking the kids out for a morning shopping spree. It is that quality time that no material gift could replace.

My sister and I have a close bond with each other’s children. My sister is 4 years my senior and got married and had babies in her early twenties. I was still a university student and when she had her first daughter, I stepped in (almost as a surrogate mother) for the times when my sister needed some t.l.c and when she returned to work I looked after my niece several days a week.

When her second daughter arrived 16 months after baby #1, I was there more than I can count. I loved watching both the girls grow up and discover the world. They were a handful together, but they surely were a whole bundle of love.

By the time I had my first daughter my sister was so excited to finally become an aunty and while I was on maternity leave we spend many a day shopping, talking, having tea treats, taking the kids out and just enjoying each other’s company. I think we both knew that this time will not only fly pass in a blink of an eye but we may not have these opportunities soon as life tends to throw us all curve balls.

We both had 1 more child each (both boys), so when these monkeys get together, it is a wild-roller-coaster-fun-challenging-memory making occasion…even if 3 of them are now teenagers.

I love being an aunty!

Day 155 4 June – mystery

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Plant? Fruit? Seed?

I found this strange looking plant in our garden today, in different areas. I can’t help but hope that it is some sort of erotic fruit.

I have had some responses to this photo, with most leaning towards a horrible weed that carries a warning from Conservation New Zealand, especially in the rural Auckland areas, in which case it needs to be burned, literally!

*sigh*

Day 154 3 June – cheers

It is the LONG weekend, celebrating Queens Birthday. And what best way to spend it than having my sister come for a visit! And as per our family tradition dad took us all out to dinner at the Five Stags in Whitford. It is your typical steakhouse and has a lot of personality. And the food and drinks are top notch, although this time we did wait a very long time for our main meals. We did however receive 5 complimentary drink vouchers as an apology for the delay.

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Cheers to the long weekend!

Day 153 2 June – upside down

Last year November we had friends of ours (from South Africa) visit us out of the blue. I can’t explain what a surprise and treat it was! We haven’t seen any of our friends since we left in 2008.

At the time they were here for a “look see”. Our friend had a few interviews lined up over their 10 day stay and they also had a short tour of the north island as they made their way through to each interview. We were blessed to have them visit us one of the evenings they were in Auckland. I made a traditional bobotie and we visited into the late hours of the night.

Fast forward 7 months and our friend secured a job and has come over to settle until his wife and children joins him in 2 months time. We invited him over for dinner tonight because being a man on his own living in a Motel for the first few weeks, who knows what he is eating?!

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Good company calls for good cake and this upside down pineapple cake played right into our delightful stomach.