New Year

Trip Start Aug 20, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Sunday, January 3, 2010

On New Years Eve, after buying a loo seat for Larissa and Brent, we drove down to Port Waikato to meet everyone at the bach.  We were the last ones to arrive, so Lucy and Daniel got a great welcome from the other six children already there.

This was certainly the way to camp.  Larissa and the girls had already put up our tent and made our beds, so it was just a case of dumping all of our stuff in the tent then joining everyone else up on the balcony.  A place where we spent a lot of our time! 

It was a fabulous evening, eating, drinking, chatting and laughing, waiting for the end of 2009.  By 10pm the children were exhausted, but still very excited so we had the hard task of actually getting them all into bed.  The getting into bed wasn't too hard, what was extremely hard was getting them to go to sleep!!  I lost count of the number of times Lucy shouted up to us on the balcony, 'Mummy, Daddy, I love you!'  So very cute, but not after an hour, every 10 minutes!!

The new year finally arrived with loads of fireworks, hugs and kisses.  It was a very strange feeling this year, thinking that in the UK it was in fact still 2009 and even more so without the sound of Big Ben ringing the new year in.  As usual I felt quite emotional, rather a large lump in my throat, wondering what 2010 was to hold for us.  A mixture of sadness, fear and a large amount of excitement.  We will have to wait and see.......................

During the night we were awoken by the sound of a siren, at first we felt like we were waking up to an air raid siren during World War 2!!  It was in fact the siren for the local fire station, which went on for absolutely ages.  We think that it took a while to wake the firemen up from their drunken New Year slumber!!

A warm new year was certainly what the doctor ordered and New Year's Day was spent fishing, walking and relaxing.  First thing in the morning we headed for the sand dunes and the river to fish.  Dan had been pestering Brent for so long, wanting to go fishing so he was VERY excited.  Rightly so as he managed to catch two fish, as did Lucy (thank goodness!!)  They were very, very excited, even more so when Grayson and Sarah managed to catch one each too.  They now can't wait to do it again!

After spending the morning down at the river, we headed back to the bach.  After more food and drink some of us stayed at the bach to relax and catch up on some sleep whilst the boys climbed up the hill behind the house.  They got some amazing views from the top so it was definately well worth the hike.  Dan was very proud of the fact that he managed to climb to the top!

Sunday morning saw yet more sunshine.  Considering we were sleeping in a tent with a blanket as a curtain we all managed to sleep very well.  We were just always busting for the loo by morning! 

After breakfast we headed off to the Bush Carnival down the road.  This was the sort of event that would have been around 50 years ago in the UK.  It was a cross between a country show and a rodeo which we all really enjoyed.  We set up the picnic blankets and umbrella by the ring side and watched pony games first.  Myself and Justine were desperate to have a go, all the games we had done as kids ourselves!

Later on in the event, the kids got to take part in a race, pulling a carriage a long.  They were the youngest team by quite some so they got plenty of race preparation from the Dads!  Dan and Grayson pulled the vehicle, while Sarah and an older boy, plucked from the crowd, pushed from behind.  The two youngest were the passengers inside!  Once they were off, Dan was more interested in waving to me and the rest of the crowd.  I wish we had got video of him doing it, it was VERY cute.  They cheated too, only going around two of the barrels before heading back towards the start.  Afterwards, when asked, Dan said it was because they were the youngest!  They were allowed to do that!  They had a great time and loved every minute of it :-)

Later in the day's events was the sheep riding!  Something, I have never seen before and will probably never again, outside of the Port!  Lucy and Daniel decided that they wanted to have a go.  I thought they would be keen, until it actually got to their turn, but I was wrong.  They both went through with it and were incredibly brave.  Dan lasted for a couple of seconds, but got a good kick in the butt when he fell off.  It made him cry for a little while, but he was ok after being given a sweet by the organisers!  Lucy, on the other hand, managed to stay on a while longer, and may have gone even further if her sheep hadn't shot off to the left, following another sheep.  She picked herself off the floor without any tears and considered the whole event to be wicked!  Lucy and Dan then spent the next ten minutes discussing their strategies for staying on longer for next year!!  Grayson and Meg also had a go, and Grayson had a lovely bruise from the sheep kicking him.  It was a really super day for the kids, they had an absolute ball.  We know for definate that the health and safety laws in the UK would never allow an event like this to happen.  In fact, it was good clean fun, the sheep and cattle were fine and the kids generally didn't seem bothered by a few falls.

Later in the day, we watched some of the adults and older kids riding cows!!  I'm not quite sure if they were brave or stupid, being flung to the ground, on land which seemed as hard as concrete.  There were several folk who didn't get up straight away and needed help from the St. John's ambulance.  Needless to say, we didn't have a go!

We were meant to be going home on Saturday evening, but we decided to stay for the Sunday so that we could visit Art in the Port.  It was a small craft/art fair which interested me and the children but not Jeff, so the Mums went off with the children and the Dad's stayed at home.  The kids had a good time, having their hands painted and we got felting wool to attempt to make some hair ties over the summer holidays, as well as some veges to put in the garden.  Once again it was a little event, that you would have seen regularly in the UK several years ago.

After having lunch at the bach we headed for home. 

We had a fabulous New Year, probably the best for quite some time.  A big thank you to Brent and Larissa and also a big thank you to the families whose company was very enjoyable :-)
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yangtze on

The thing what you have said is wonderfull.Everyone has different idea.Anyway,happy new year.

Claire Birkin on

Yet again Jo another great read, I love getting your updates. Everyone seems so happy, I sooooo think you did the right thing in moving away, its like we are worlds apart. x

joparky on

Thanks Claire. We are having a lovely time, although I think we are still in the holiday period! We have now been here for 15 weeks :-) and the restrictions on our passports should be removed in the next couple of weeks :-) Take care x

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