Sunday, December 26, 2010

Flying into 2011

Another Christmas has come and gone and we're racing toward the New Year. Marty and I have been very slack at organising our party this year so may end up having a total of 3 people here for the midnight countdown. Oops. It will be a cosy, lazy New Year which will actually be quite nice.

Christmas was lovely. Very relaxed and we've had spectacular weather. It's 30 degrees here at the moment and it's about 6.30pm. Crazy. But it seems we should make the most of it with severe weather warnings forecast for the next few days. Doesn't make me happy that Marty, Franck (a French wwoofer staying here at the mo) and Mark, a friend of Marty's, are all up in the ranges hunting deer tonight.

Anyway, on Christmas eve we gorged ourselves on Renata's beautiful fish with potato salad, a Czech tradition with a kiwi Pavlova for dessert and indulged in a few Aphrodite cocktails....

Mum, Brian and I all went for a walk through a dandelion soaked paddock and unexpectedly found quite a few mushrooms. The weather has been so humid here it's not really surprising, I guess....

And our ducklings are doing well, although their first unsupervised swim didn't go very well because they couldn't get out of the trough and unfortunately we lost one of them and had to administer Rescue Remedy and give them a good go with the hair dryer in order to save the other 3. But here's they are before the fateful day....

I can't believe how fast they are growing. They seem to double in size each night. BUt they are eating a lot. They're so gorgeous. As was the sky on Christmas Eve...

We finished off the night with a game of poker which I won! First time! I kept getting amazing hands. Flushes all over the place and even a 4 of a kind. I was pretty happy with myself :)

Christmas morning was a little bit rushed as we tried to get the canapes done before 11am but we managed. The tree looked beautiful, the pomegranate syrup with champagne went down well and the food, divine.

After the present opening we all stumbled outside to enjoy the sunshine....

Mono went and dug up a little treat that he had been storing away for a special occasion....

And then continued the talk of food.... And then the eating....

After all the food we decided the only thing to do was to go for a walk (after a bit of a ride and some jumps for me... Dino, once again, was an angel).... Can you spot Mum?...

And then there was dinner which was a little bit later than the feast on Christmas Eve but was still yum nonetheless. But huge. And then Christmas pudding and a game of Charades. We all had a laugh about Franck's depiction of Moulin Rouge and Marty's French-English Dictionary. It was mighty fun.

Boxing day was meant to just be us (even though Mum announced that she had bought 39 bagels for the 7 of us) but we ended up with a few visitors. Julia and Peter from Waipukurau came over as did Louise, Jared, Maryja and her friend Taylor (?) and we had bagels with cream cheese and salmon in the sun. But we kept having to move the table to avoid/follow the sun...

Today Mum and I went for a walk into unchartered parts of the river. I rode Dino and she walked with Mono. We found a beautiful little swimming hole which we will have to go back to for a picnic. And Dino was awesome. He loves the water. He splashed around and almost had a lie down in it.

So all in all it has been a wonderful few days. And nice to finally have a joint Christmas with Marty, Renata and Brian.

I think now I need to go and digest/sleep and really try to just blob.

Merry Christmas to everyone and Happy New Year!

K :)

Monday, December 13, 2010


Dino was amazing! So well behaved and he learned so much over the weekend. We floated him for the first time (so far he's only been on trucks) and he walked straight up the ramp every time. He had his first experience on an obstacle bridge and he had his first experience of being around so many other horses. We came away with 8 placings (which is not that amazing as there weren't many people in the classes but we got mainly 3rd and 4th with one 5th place so really can't complain! He is madly in love with Alison's horse, Lance, and had a few tantrums if they weren't right next to each other (in fact that was the reason we came 4th in one of the classes - if Lance hadn't been behind us he would have stood still like he was supposed to and we would have done better!). But over all he was amazing and I am so proud of him. We will definitely be going to more little ribbon days! Anyway, here are some photos....

Reining, my favourite. We got 3rd :)

Hi first attempt at the obstacle bridge was not so good

But he got more confident

And then he couldn't have cared less. He is so cool :)

His pretty plait that got lots of comments

There was a dog show on at the same time so there were ridiculously pouffed dogs everywhere

Horsemanship class - we got 3rd :)

Warming up/calming down for a class

Ok, so happy. We are both buggered today though. Time for a good rest. Dog is harrassing me so better go.


K :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Birds, birds, birds and bread.

It's all about the birds at the moment. Last night, as we were literally walking out the door to go to Joy and Robin's Christmas dinner and drinks, we found that Macky mother duck had hatched 4 of her eggs and the little ducklings (who look suspiciously un-peking) following her around cheeping frantically.

So, since her last effort at raising ducklings was so dismal, we had to catch her and the young uns and put them into the wood basket until we came home and could set up an enclosure in the aviary so she can't drag her babies all over the farm. She had another 9 eggs in the nest and we yoinked them out and now Doris is happily taking care of them in the chicken coop. It is a bit ridiculous though because the eggs are enormous for such a little chicken to be sitting on.

Also there are lots of baby birds up in the trees. They are starting their flying lessons at the moment. A while ago there was a nest in the horse cabinet up in the sheds....

They have since feathered up and spread their wings. They're still there but not for long, I think.

Rex, the pheasant, has taken a particular liking to Blanche, the grey chicken. He may think that she is a pheasant as well and keeps trying to woo her. She is unimpressed by his advances....

But since then Rex has somehow lost all his tail feathers (they look very pretty above our blackboard) so is even less impressive!

Marty has taken Mike's bread making to heart and has been baking sourdough regularly....

We haven't yet made anymore for the market because our weekends have been pretty jam-packed recently. We went to the Sanctuary Sounds Music Festival last weekend and tended the bar for a few hours at the end. It was a good night with a lot of people there and good bands from all over the place. But by Sunday morning we were in no mood to be in the kitchen making bread seeing as we hadn't had much sleep and decided to go to Hastings to the Warehouse to buy clothes at 8.30am before heading to the market.

This weekend I have been preparing for my first horse show in 12 years. Dino has been amazingly well behaved in the last few weeks so I'm hoping for it to continue until at least tomorrow. It's a really low key Western Have-A-Go day up in Flaxmere but I'm nervous nonetheless. It's mainly games and obstacle courses etc in a big arena. Hopefully I'll get some photos of us up there. We went on a big ride today with Alison and Sally up in Waipawa. We went along the river through the trees and came back through the river for a cool down and a splash (Dino loves the water... sometimes too much so and I think he's going to sit down in it!). I had been telling Alison about what a nightmare he can be sometimes and she doesn't believe me now seeing as he was so good. I am so proud of him! But we'll see how it goes tomorrow!

Anyway, almost dinner time but will post pics of tomorrow.


K :)