Wednesday, 17 January 2018

2017 - July - December

The second half of 2017 was filled with a range of activities that supported the development of our amazing little boy, took steps towards our future, worked towards the development of our new property and developed new connections.  However there was a big low point which came out of the blue and left us in a state of shock for a few months, the death of my Nan.

Now for someone who is nearly 40 I realise that loosing a grandparent is to be expected especially when she was 87, but my Nan seemed like she had at least another 5 + years in her and had only stopped skiing in 4 years ago.  Her death was also as a result of an accident.  She had gone into hospital for a routine operation and had come through successfully.  But the night following her operation dosed up on pain medication she tried to get out of bed (which had the sides up) slipped and fell hitting her head and causing a bleed on the brain.  Because of the anticoagulants the bleed put her into a vegetative state but sadly stopped before she passed away.  So because she had a do not resuscitate order we then had to wait for her body to shut down and for her to pass away, no IV fluids (as this would have just kept her alive) just pain meds.  Our family travelled from all over the country to be by her side and after 5 days of our bedside vigil she passed on.  The funeral followed and over the following few months so did the selling of the family home and moving my Pop into a nursing home.  It was a tough few months and not a day goes by that I don't miss her.  I am extremely grateful that we moved back when we did so that she could meet Kingsley and I could share some more moments with her.

But life has also provided many opportunities for us to grow and learn and enjoy each other.

I have joined in at our local community garden which is organically run along permaculture principles.  It has been great to meet like minded people as one of the concerns I had when we moved was the opportunity to meet people with similar values in quite a traditional small rural community.  Kingsley and I go every Friday for coffee morning where he digs in the dirt and enjoys green smoothies and picks himself strawberries.  Kingsley a a sociable little bunny and shares his hugs and kisses around adopting new nanna's and poppa's wherever he goes.

Green smoothies .... mmmmmm.

The original windbreak we have been planting for the past few years is doing ok, we have lost a few plants due to water logging and some to salt spray (even though we are kms from the coast) but we still have plenty of survivors and once we plant some giant flax  down the road side of our planting strip that will suck up a lot of ground water and create a thick buffer for wind.

During the year we also planted out a row of trees that will form the base of our orchard windbreak.  We are using all natives that we have grown from seed to keep costs down as purchasing the potting mix is cheaper than buying the plants.

My cousin and her kids helped out on planting day with the kids pushing the wheelbarrow, picking up pots and entertaining Kingsley in his makeshift playpen made up of possessions we haven't unpacked and have stored at the farm.

Makeshift playpen set up by the roller door so he could see out
We have since been back and added more plants to this row and the reality is that we will be planting a lot more over the next 5 years just for shelter and shade for us and our animals.
Kingsley is a really busy kid, which is not surprising since he has a very busy mother who is pretty task orientated.  He is happiest outdoors which is great most of the time but sometimes results in tears when he gets brought back indoors.  We have also learned not to put any footwear on him until the last minute as he associates this with going outside and heaven help us if we are not ready to go yet.

We are getting to spend lots of time with my parents and they love having a grandchild who they see a few times a week.  They have 5 acres so this also provides lots more opportunities to be out doors, visit the animals at their place and in the neighbourhood and to help Poppa do jobs.

Kingsley my not be getting another sibling but he has an incredible bond with Jessie our dog.  Jessie was one of the first words he said and he starts asking for he as soon as he gets up each day.  Lucky she is only 7 so should be around for a while yet.

We think he will make a good farmer as he loves animals.

The weather has been brilliant since the start of November with lots of sunshine and just a little rain.  Brilliant for being out doors but a little dry for many farmers.  Kingsley's older cousins treat him like a bit of a toy and fight over him but I am sure the novelty will wear off when he gets a bit bigger and starts getting into their "precious" things.

All year I have had one big splurge to look forward to and that was Cat Steven in concert.  I went with my mums brother and mum and dad and it was amazing.  It was held in an outdoor venue and packed with nearly 20,000 fans all enjoying the great weather and great music.  We got there early and got an awesome seat along the top of a wall so we had an uninterrupted view.

This year my family hired some holiday homes at a beach for 3 nights over Christmas.  It is a spot we have all holidayed before as there is good fishing minimal people and sheltered spots for the kids to play in the sand even if the weather is not great.  This was Kingsley's first trip to the beach and he loved it, especially breaking the sandcastles people built for him.

We followed up our 3 days at the holiday house with my parents and one of my brothers and his family with 3 nights camping at a different beach.  This was with my Aunt (mums identical twin), uncle and my cousin (who is like my sister) and her family.  We all grew up very close and still see a lot of them so to Kingsley this is just another Nanna and Poppa.  We did lots of bike riding, more fishing and playing in the sand.

We wrapped up the year quietly and then launched our selves into the new year (more about that another day).
We have also continued to make the most of the good weather with a trip to a local river for a dip when my brother, his wife and girls came to visit.

This year is going to be a big one for us with our friends Liz and Pete from Queensland visiting in February, our new house build will start in April, I have a trip to Melbourne in April, I am studying full time at Uni, my best friend is visiting in the middle of the year for my big 40, a couple of camping trips are already planned and I am sure there will be lots more happening too.

I am sure there are things I have missed but that is a brief look at the last 6 months.  Really glad you stuck around I have missed this space.


  1. I'm glad to see you back posting again Fiona. I'm sorry for the loss of you grandmother, it doesn't matter how old we are it is never easy to lose those we love.

  2. Lovely to hear all your news (but sad about your grandmother), Kingsley is so cute! Melindi

  3. Sorry to hear about your Nan....always tough on families when these things happen. Glad you have got a good community garden and are meeting like minded people. Little Kingsley has a wonderful life ahead of him with farm life, family life and great role models everywhere. Keep us posted on when the house starts and take lots of pics. Regards Kathy

  4. Sorry to read that you lost your Nan, Fiona. No matter how old we are, I don't think we are ever quite ready for those final goodbyes. Your young Kingsley is a lucky fellow being surrounded by family close by and spending lots of time outside. I think out there among the grasses, in the mud, on the beach, among the animals ... not sure it gets better than that for a young child learning about the world. Looking forward to reading here as your year unfolds. Meg:)

  5. Hi Fiona - I’m so glad I happened upon your blog post, I’ve often wondered how you’ve been getting along in you new NZ life.
    Sounds like it’s all been very productive and the best possible decision you could have made. What a wonderful lifestyle for Kingsley (he’s so cute) surrounded by family. Sorry to hear about your Nan’s passing, a very difficult time I’m sure.
    It’s wonderful to reflect back after reading your blog for sone time, back to when you were dreaming of a baby maybe and your move ‘across the ditch’. Well done! Cheers Wendy (duchess-declutter)

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